Cut grass seeds down to size
IT’S THE SEASON WHERE GRASS SEEDS CAN CREATE PROBLEMS FOR DOGS. HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO AVOID THEM
As the season where grass seeds can cause problems for dogs fast approaches, now is the time to act to protect your pets.
GV Vets owner and veterinarian Brett Davis said grass seeds could cause problems if they were left to burrow under a dog’s skin or get stuck in their ear canal or eyes.
However, he said there were a few things pet owners could do to help stop grass seeds from creating problems for dogs.
Dr Davis recommended trimming back the fur around your dog’s feet so that grass seeds were less likely to get stuck in the fur; or if one did, so that there was a better chance of seeing it.
He also recommended checking your dog’s feet every night for grass seeds.
“They’ll stick in the fur first and you might get the opportunity to pull them out with your fingers before they get under the skin,” he said.
Dr Davis said people should also mow their lawns to help contain grass seeds.
When out walking your dog, you should try and keep them away
from grass seed paddocks and other areas where they were prevalent.
“Prevention is better than cure,” Dr Davis said.
He said most grass seed issues he saw were from the arrowshaped barley grass seeds and he said they could attack “any orifice” of your pet.
The most common ones were in a dog’s feet, where a grass seed had worked its way under the skin, however Dr Davis said he also saw them a lot in ears where they had worked their way down into the ear canal.
They can also get stuck behind a pet’s eyelid — not just in dogs, but also cats.
While tricky to find in the eye, Dr Davis said this was one of the easiest ones to remove.
Sometimes they can go up noses, causing intense sneezing or blood, and on rare occasions they could also be inhaled and go into your dog’s lungs.
Dr Davis said with longer haired dogs, it was important to keep the fur trimmed around their feet during grass seed season, which runs until autumn.
“With long hair, they can burrow in and be difficult to find,” Dr Davis said.
“We can sometimes be trimming hair back to get a grass seed burrowed under the skin and we find scores and scores of them.”
Dr Davis said as soon as the grass seed problem arrived for the season, his veterinary clinic would not go a day without seeing an animal with a problem until the end of the season.
If grass seeds are removed immediately from your pet’s fur, they don’t cause any issues, however Dr Davis said once they had burrowed under the skin, some dogs needed an anaesthetic before they could be removed.