Pets Living Life Naturally

Dangers of grass seeds

Foxtail (diaspore) Seeds

Foxtail (diaspore) Seeds

Hello all,

We’ve just gone through a very worrying time with our Jessy, which sparked the content of my newsletter. She has just come home after a 2 day ‘visit’ to the vet because a grass seed had to be surgically removed from the soft tissue in her shoulder.

I never realised that certain grass seeds will burrow their way into the skin and cause many complications, some of which can only be treated surgically. These seeds get stuck in the fur or paws and if they are not removed immediately after the walk, will continue their way into the skin. Due to their unique arrowhead shape and little barbs, it is easy for them to get stuck in the fur. There they cause irritation which makes the dog lick the area. As soon as the seed gets wet, it ‘activates’ and starts burrowing into the skin where after it could end up anywere, following the path of least resistance.

Dogs have had seeds removed from their ear canals, sinus passages and even the spine. It is not uncommon for the seed to enter through the paw and find its way up to the neck or shoulder where it might then exit by means an abcess or hotspot.

This phenomena also seems to be a more recent thing which shows how our natural vegetation on the green belts have changed. There are either more invasive grasses growing now or the greenbelts are not being moved as regularly as before. Whatever the reason, we must remain vigilant and it really does not take long to do a quick paw, leg and belly check after each walk. It will also help to keep long fur trimmed around the feet, legs and tummy in spring and summer, which is when these seeds dry out and cause havoc.

I might sound a bit over the top, but trust me, I don’t want to go through this again and neither should you !

Click here for more information on this Foxtail Seeds.

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