Grass Seeds Season

June 26, 2024

We’re so lucky living in Oxfordshire and having so many lovely green spaces on our doorsteps. The downside of these, is the hazard of grass seeds to our pets and recently, we’ve seen lots!

Grass seeds, particularly those from longer weedy grasses, are small, arrow-shaped seeds that can easily become lodged in your pet’s fur, skin, ears, eyes, nose, and even paws. Their shape allows them to move in only one direction, making them particularly dangerous as they can burrow deeper into your pet’s body over time.

Why Are They Dangerous?

Inflammation: Once embedded, grass seeds can track into the tissue, leading to painful inflammation.

Abscesses & Infection: If a grass seed becomes lodged under the skin, it can create an abscess, a painful, swollen area filled with pus. Abscesses often require medical intervention, including draining and antibiotics. Infections can be difficult to treat especially if the seed has travelled far into the tissue (and of course, grass seeds are not visible using x-ray).

Organ Damage: In extreme cases, grass seeds can migrate through the body, potentially reaching vital organs such as the lungs, heart, or brain. This can cause life-threatening conditions that require emergency veterinary care.

Respiratory Issues: If inhaled, grass seeds can become lodged in the nasal passages or lungs, leading to breathing difficulties and severe respiratory distress. Watch out for sneezing and trying to rub their nose – this can be an indicator that something is stuck!

Ocular Damage: Seeds can easily enter the eyes, causing irritation, redness, and even corneal ulcers, which can impair vision if not treated promptly.

Signs to Look Out For:

Persistent licking or chewing: Especially on paws, legs, or other areas.

Head shaking or scratching: Particularly the ears.

Red, swollen, or discharge-producing areas: On the skin or in the eyes, nose, or ears.

Limping: Or any signs of discomfort while walking.

Sneezing or coughing: Especially if it is persistent or severe.

Prevention Tips:

Regular Inspections: After your pet has been outside, especially in grassy or weedy areas, thoroughly check their fur, paws, ears, and other vulnerable areas for grass seeds.

Grooming: Keep your pet’s fur trimmed, particularly around the paws, ears, and other areas where seeds are likely to get caught. Regular grooming can make it easier to spot and remove any seeds before they cause harm.

Avoidance: Try to avoid areas with tall, weedy grasses during peak seasons. Stick to well-maintained paths and lawns when walking your pet.

What to Do If You Suspect a Problem:

If you notice any signs that your pet might be affected by grass seeds, contact us. Early intervention is crucial to prevent more serious health issues. Your vet may need to perform a physical examination, imaging, or even minor surgery to remove the seed and treat any resulting infections.

By staying vigilant and taking a few preventative measures, you can help ensure that your pet enjoys the great outdoors safely and comfortably.

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