Grass Seeds

A real pest for dogs and their owners is the ubiquitous grass seed. Grass seeds can embed, burrough and migrate through your dog’s orifices and skin and cause serious and costly damage. Commonly they will catch on ear hair and work their way into the ear canal causing irritation, infection and sometimes a burst ear drum. Dogs will sometimes need to be sedated to remove grass seeds in the ear, but may also allow conscious removal. Signs to look for are violent head shaking, a head tilt to the side of the affected ear, or scratching at the ear. Once the seed is removed there is usually no more treatment needed. Equally prevalent are grass seeds embedded in the interdigital spaces of the paw (between the toes). Once the seed migrates through the skin it can cause a painful abscess. Signs to look for include excessive licking of the area, lameness and local swelling. Again your dog may need to be sedated to remove the seed and lance and flush the abscess, or it may be removed under local and need follow up antibiotics. A poultice may sometimes work.

Another common place to find grass seeds are: in the eyes, the most common place for a cat to get a grass seed injury. Look out for a very painful, red, closed eye. These are emergencies because serious injury can occur to the cornea including perforation and blindness.

Grass seeds can penetrate skin anywhere in the body, watch out for soft or hard skin swellings which your pet is licking at frequently, or swellings around the neck and under the jaw. Grass seeds can lodge in the tonsillar crypts, signs to watch are coughing, or clearing the throat noises; lodged in gums behind the teeth, you may notice foul breath; seeds can penetrate the anus or migrate along the prepuce or along the vagina, look out for persistent penis or vaginal discharge, constant licking and discomfort.

Grass seeds can go everywhere.



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