Grass Seed Alert!
You would never imagine that running in the long grass could cause of your dog pain and illness, but that is actually what Caroline Allen, our Clinical Director at Hornsey Vets, is warning.
At this time of year the dry grass awns (seen here) act like tiny arrows, piercing your dogs skin. Their sharp awns mean they only move one way- further in to your dog taking with them dirt and infection.
In the last few weeks our vets have pulled grass seeds from ears, eyes- where they can cause a nasty ulcer, from buried in armpits and tracking up under the skin of paws.
Caroline said ‘it is unbelievable the problems these little harmless looking grass heads can cause. We’ve seen ear infections, eye ulcers and really painful abscesses on toes. They are sharp and painful, so a heavy sedation or anaesthetic is usually required to remove them’.
Little Moby here was feeling very sorry for himself with a sore ear, he came in because he was shaking his head. Caroline examined his ears with the auroscope and found a grass seed deep in the ear canal- not far from the ear drum.
Under sedation the seed was removed and the resultant infection responded well to treatment, so Moby was soon feeling back to his usual bouncy self.
Caroline added ‘it might sound a bit mean but it is much better to keep your dog away from long grass. Also you should check between the paws and in any long fur after every walk. If your dogs has a very thick coat talk to a groomer about dealing with this over summer. If your dog has a lot of ‘feathering’ around the feet it may be advisable to have this shaved off.’
Caught just in time! This grass seed was about to penetrate the skin. It could then track under the skin causing very nasty infection.
If you have any concerns about grass seeds don’t hesitate to give Caroline and the team a call.