Most dog owners are not aware that grass seeds are a potential danger to pets. All dogs are at risk but long haired, long eared dogs, and dogs with hairy feet are particularly susceptible.
With their arrow-like structure and long harsh fibres, grass seeds will easily get caught in your dog's haircoat, making their way up until they reach the skin. If no one notices their presence and removes them, they will eventually pierce through your dog's skin and deep through tissues.
Although the most common locations for lodged grass seeds are in a dog's paws (in between the toes), nose and ears they can puncture anywhere on their body causing pain and irritation. As time goes by it will lead to infection and possibly to the formation of an abscess. In some cases, surgery is necessary to locate and remove the grass seed.
Dogs suffering from a lodged grass seed will look extremely uncomfortable, constantly itching, licking and biting the affected area, attempting to remove the seed themselves.
Other signs are also very typical. Dogs with a grass seed in their ears for example will often shake their heads, rub them along the floor and they may even walk with their head tilted to one side.
Luckily this problem is easy to prevent. Dog owners should thoroughly check their dog's haircoat when returning from walks. Make sure you check eyes, ears, lip folds, paws and in between their toes. Always be suspicious of matted clumps of hair as they can be formed due to grass seeds.
Grass seeds are very common during the summer and autumn months which means dog owners should be extra careful during this time of the year.
If you suspect your dog has a grass seed infection please take him or her to the vet as soon as possible.
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