Those Pesky Seeds
Watching a dog frolicking through the long autumn grass is something many pet owners simply love. However, for some dog owners that long grass, and more importantly their seeds, can wreak havoc and send some into a panic of checks and searches.
“Even though summer has come to an end, there are still a lot of grass-seeds around,” Nadia Crighton Spokesperson from Pet Insurance Australia says. “The seeds can be a problem for some pet owners as they can embed into your dog and cause issues.”
Breeds with long hair around the feet and ears are most at risk as the arrow like heads of the seeds are easily picked up in their coats. Smaller breeds also seem to have more grass seed incidents than larger breeds.
The seeds are commonly extracted by veterinarians from the ears and between the delicate tissue of the toe area. Once a seed has entered the soft tissue it will continue to burrow through the body until extracted.
“It’s a good idea for pet owners to give their dogs a check after running through grassy areas,” Crighton suggests. “Check paws, ears and under the belly of your dog. Once the grass seed has attached to your dog it will then burrow into the skin causing inflammation and extreme pain.”
Checking between the toes and in the ears for any signs of seeds penetration can help prevent any on-going problems.
“The pesky seeds can burrow through the pet’s foot, causing immense discomfort. Being made up of vegetable matter, they are unable to be picked up on x-ray, so knowing the entry point is very important,” Crighton warns.
Pet Insurance Australia is urging all pet owners to be vigilant and seek veterinary advice if they notice their dogs licking their paws, showing signs of lameness or constant head shaking.
“Your vet can extract the seed and also check for any other seed-related problems and treat possible infection,” Crighton says. “Also keeping the hair around your dog’s ears and feet nice and short can also help prevent grass seed incidents.”
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