Summer is nearly here which means our vets are starting to see an increase in grass seed related problems.
Barley grass has bristly seeds which stick to anythings, anywhere, anytime! Because of their shape these seeds can burrow into fur and skin where they might become lodged. They can also enter nose or ears, get between eye and eyelid and are often found between toes. If a seed is not removed immediately, muscular movements cause it to burrow deeper into the body.
You can protect your pet by avoiding areas with tall seeding grass. Clipping long-haired dogs, especially between toes will aid in prevention. If your dog has been on a grassy adventure check their coat carefully, removing any seeds. Look especially behind the ears, around the head and eyes, in the ‘armpits’, groins and between the toes. If you cannot remove a seed contact your veterinarian as soon as possible since it will only become more deeply buried and harder to take out.
Once seeds become buried it is often very difficult to find them. The entry point may or may not be visible, especially if it has migrated several inches. Treatment can be very tricky at times often requiring an anaesthetic to explore an abscess and having to make several incisions in an attempt to find the seed.
if you notice a weeping foot wound, your pet is walking around with a bit of a head tilt or are shaking their heads please contact your vet.
Veterinarian, BVSc. BSc. Animal Science