Warning - The Danger of Grass Seeds
Walking Tapapakanga yesterday, George was riddled with grass seeds by the end of the walk. Surprisingly few dog owners ive spoken to understand just how dangerous grass seeds can be to a dog, so I wanted to document it here for you so you know what to look out for.
A few years ago when George was about a year or so old, I discovered my first grass seed. Not by knowing to look, but by the fact he was constantly licking his paw. This is a sure sign of discomfort and one to keep a watchout for during summer when grass seeds are prevalent.
Spreading his paw apart, I could see something was lodged in between his toes and looked very red and inflamed. Not knowing at the time what it was, I look him to the local vet who explained to me it was a grass seed. The grass seed was removed thankfully in time that it didn't do any serious damage, but since then, every walk we do in grassy areas I make sure I check him when we get home.
Numerous times now ive found grass seeds between his toes, under his armpits (for a lack of a better description!) and even this morning after checking him throughly yesterday and removing all signs of them, I even found one had worked its way into his eye. Thankfully a sign of infection in his eye this morning alerted me to it being there and I was able to remove it before any injury occurred.
Grass seeds come in many shapes and sizes, this photo shows just 3 of the variations I removed from George yesterday. There were others that were bigger and smaller than this so you need to be really careful when checking to make sure you've got them all. If I check him after a walk, usually grass seeds can be removed by hand or with a pair of tweezers before they start making their way under the skin. For anything that looks like its already pierced the sign, looks inflamed or infected, take your dog to the vet for removal.
If grass seeds make their way into your dog, they can travel in their body and cause serious damage so catching them early is the key to preventing a trip to the vet. Spend 10-15mins checking your dog after a walk, feet, eyes, armpits and ears and remove everything you see, even if you think its not a grass seed.
I don't claim to have any medical knowledge about the affects of grass seeds in dogs, so for a more detailed reference of the symptoms and what to look out for, have a read of this page: http://www.animalcare.co.nz/The-Danger-of-Grass-Seeds.aspx