At this time of year, injuries from grass seeds are extremely common – but many people are unaware of the extent of the damage these seeds can cause to their pets.
Grass seeds can become lodged anywhere on or in your pets, but are found most often in the eyes, ears and pads of the feet. They can also become stuck in the nasal passages if inhaled. Once the seed has embedded underneath the skin, they can migrate around the body.
These injuries can be very uncomfortable and painful for the animal affected. Symptoms include persistent licking or chewing and the area becoming red, swollen, weeping or bleeding. Look out for other signs such as head shaking, sneezing, coughing, lethargy or any symptoms your pet may be in pain.
Seed injuries usually result in inflammation and infection of the affected area which can then develop into an abscess. If the seed migrates, it can cause problems in other parts of the body such as the lungs, abdomen, joints or even brain.
Grass seeds can be tricky to find and get rid of. Medical treatment such as antibiotics may treat the infection but will not break down the seed, meaning the best treatment option is often surgical removal.
The seeds cannot be located on x-rays as they are made from vegetable matter so are invisible on the images. This means the surgery is usually exploratory to first find the seed to then remove it completely.
If noticed and treated quickly, seeds are usually still fairly superficial so surgery to remove them tends to be straight forward with pets making a full recovery.
Pets with hairy paws and feet are particularly susceptible to these types of injuries, and animals that walk out in meadows and woodland are more at risk. Most cases are seen through spring and summer, so take extra care throughout these seasons.
Please do call us on 01435 864422 if you need advice, or your pet may be suffering from problems due to grass seeds or blades.