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Barley Grass

Barley Grass

Annelise Enslin

Summer is here and so are those nasty seeds that stick into anything, anywhere, any time.

Apart from it being painful to our four footed companions when these seeds burrow into them, it can pose important health risks too.  In clinic we have experienced their migration into different areas of the animal, each with their own complications.

These include:

  • Into feet between toes – swelling of feet and pain associated with dogs becoming non-weight bearing and unable to work/play
  • Into the ears –seeds can cause serious issues like punctured ear drums.  If not removed promptly they can potentially cause infection of the middle ear and dogs may become wobbly or continuously tilt their heads due to it being very painful
  • Into the chest – once in the chest they cause pyothorax: the build up of pussy fluid between the lungs and rib cage. Also they could potentially penetrate the lungs, heart or some of the larger blood vessels
  • Into the abdomen – here they can cause peritonitis: pus within the abdomen between the organs. They can also penetrate any major organ or blood vessel with dire consequences.
  • Into any other area like for instance legs, hips, or shoulders – where they can cause abscesses.


What you can do at home:

  • After running your dogs in paddocks or along the river this summer, take some time to give them a good feel over for seeds. Check especially between the toes, underneath feet in between the pads, in and around the ears and in the arm pits and groin
  • If you have a hairy breed dog, giving them a short summer clip will reduce the clinging ability of seeds and will also make them easier to spot
  • Poodle clip your dogs’ feet (this is a very short clip). We offer grooming services and can do a nice clip for your dog!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our veterinarians at any one of our clinics.

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