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Common Conditions - Articles of Interest - Grass Seeds and Your Pet

Grass Seeds and Your Pet

It may come as a surprise but little, tiny grass seeds can create big problems for our pets.  Grass seeds commonly migrate under the skin and burrow their way between a pet's toes, in their ears, nostrils and their eyes often causing infection, pain and tissue damage. 
Locating a grass seed on a pet can be difficult, especially if it has made its way under the skin. Depending on how deep the grass seed has burrowed, your pet may require sedation or an anaesthetic so that thorough treatment and removal of the grass seed can be achieved.  


Signs that my pet may have a grass seed present?

Pets may react differently depending upon the number, location, and shape of the seed.
Hair: If large seeds are in the hair behind the ears of a dog, there may be no sign of a problem other than matted hair.
Ear: A seed in the ear canal may cause the pet to shake his head, scratch at the ear, rub their ear on the floor, or hold his head at a slightly tilted angle.
Eye: A seed between the eye and the eyelid may cause the eye to become red and inflamed, sometimes with discharge or tears. An ulcer of the cornea could result and possibly lead to vision loss.
Nose: A seed in the nose may cause the animal to sneeze, paw at the nose, and may result in some nasal discharge.
Skin: A pet may chew at an area where seeds have become attached on the skin, and as a result the seed may burrow deeper or become attached the inside of your pet's mouth.

What can I do to protect my pet?

Pets that spend more time outside, especially those living on acreage or farm land, are at most risk. Unfortunately, there is no simple way to protect your pet against grass seeds but keeping their coat short and minimising their adventures in long dry grassy areas will help.
If your pet does happen to frolic on lawns or parklands where seeded grass is present, physically check your pets over by running your fingers through their fur and checking in between the toes, inside the ears, mouth and have a good look in the eyes. 
If you suspect that your pet is having a problem due to a grass seed, contact your local Greencross Vets before a severe problem occurs.   

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