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    Are Grass Seeds Harmful to Dogs?

    Are Grass Seeds Harmful to Dogs?

    If your dog loves running through long grass, the chances are it will reappear covered in grass seeds. While they are generally harmless, if they find their way into the wrong places, they can cause severe problems for your pet. It is common to find grass seeds in ears, eyes, and toes, and if they are not removed, they can often get under the skin and potentially cause severe infection. They can also migrate into other areas of your pet’s body, causing problems that are difficult to diagnose.

    Always check your dog over when it has been in long grass. The ends of the seeds are pretty sharp, which is why they can pierce the skin. Check their eyes, ears, nose, armpits, and toes for any stuck in their coat. If you discover an embedded seed or a swelling that may contain one, book an appointment with your vet; do not try to remove it yourself. It is essential to act quickly before the seed can move.

    What are the telltale signs my dog might have a grass seed stuck under their skin?

    Grass seeds often cause problems behind the eyelids, between toes and in the ears. However, they can get under the skin anywhere on your pet’s body. If your dog has a grass seed stuck in its ear, it will probably shake its head and scratch its ear. If a seed has found its way under your pet's eyelid, its eye will probably look inflamed and watery and may have a discharge. If your pet is constantly licking and nibbling their paw, check in between their toes for any seeds. If a seed travels more profoundly into your pet's body, it will probably cause non-specific symptoms such as lethargy and intermittent high temperature.

    What is the treatment if my pet has a grass seed stuck in their skin?

    If your dog has a visible grass seed stuck in their skin, depending on the location, your vet may be able to remove it using special instruments to pull it out. However, it can be challenging to find if it has travelled around the body as they aren’t visible on X-ray, although sometimes CT and ultrasound can detect them. Once a grass seed is located, it must be promptly and entirely removed, often with surgery.

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    How can I prevent grass seeds from causing a problem?

    If your dog is prone to grass seed problems, preventing it from running through long grass would be wise. Otherwise, check your dog thoroughly and remove any seeds you find.

    What is the cost of grass seed removal treatment?

    The cost of treating grass seed problems can vary greatly depending on where they are and what damage they have caused. A straightforward removal, such as from the ear, is usually inexpensive, although it may still require an anaesthetic. However, the costs can be significant if CT scans and surgery are necessary.

    Be open with your vet about your financial position. They are used to discussing options with owners to keep costs as low as possible without compromising your pet’s health. Multiple treatment options may exist, so don’t be afraid to ask.

    Pet insurance is always worth considering when you bring a dog into the family. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to concentrate on your pet’s treatment, knowing you have financial support should your dog become unwell.

    Concerned About Your Dog? Act Now!

    Animal Trust is a trading name of Animal Trust Vets CIC, a community interest company registered in England and Wales. Company Registration No: 07938025

    Registered Office: Animal Trust Administration Centre, Cedab Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FE