Grass Seed Problems
As the weather warms up during Spring and Summer we usually see an increase in grass seed related problems for dogs, cats, horses, cows and even alpacas. Despite the size of a grass seed, they can cause severe problems depending on where they lodge. Some of the common places we find seeds are stuck between toes, in ears, nostrils and even eyes!
A grass seed can get caught and work its way down through the skin. Once it is under the skin the body tries to eliminate it and pus is formed that can swell into an abscess The worst attribute of a grass seed is that due to the minute “barbs” they tend to travel through skin and into ears noses and eyes etc and only go one way – further in!
Common symptoms of grass seed problems include:
- • Constant shaking of the head
- • Head carried on one side
- • Eye closed & weeping
- • Lumps or bumps between toes and on the skin
- • Constant sneezing
- • Pussy looking hole in the skin
If grass seeds are left untreated (are not removed) they can lead to severe problems including the loss of an eye; ear infections, ruptured ear drums, abscess formation or even an Aural Haematoma. Treatment can be extremely tricky at times often requiring an anaesthetic to explore an abscess and attempt to locate the seed by tracing its course under the skin. The type of procedure used depends on each individual case, where the seed is lodged and how deep the seed has burrowed.
Unfortunately, there is no simple protection against grass seeds apart from prevention. This means preventing your pet from adventures in long dry grassy areas or where grass seeds can be found. Alternatively keep grassy areas mowed. Groom long haired pets regularly to remove grass seeds from their coat and if your pet has been on a grassy adventure, check their coat carefully, removing any seeds. A summer clip with our groomer, will not only help to keep your pet cool during the warmer months but it will also help to prevent grass seed problems too. Always regularly check carefully around the head and in the eyes and ears, as well as between the toes. If you think your pet or animal may have a grass seed please phone us to organise treatment.