Leo came in to visit us after he had been for a walk down at the creek that morning with his owners. Whilst he was playing in some longer grass, his owners heard him yelp and not long after found that he was very sore when lightly touching his right ear. It was clear to his owners that he was in a lot of discomfort. His owners booked him in for an appointment that day and our veterinarian confirmed that Leo had unfortunately managed to get a grass seed lodged in his ear canal. We tried to remove it in our hospital area whilst he was conscious but we found that the grass seed was lodged too deeply. We then sedated Leo and were able to successfully remove not one but two grass seeds from within his ear canal. It was quite a lucky outcome!
As we are coming into the warmer months, it is important to be very mindful of grass seeds as they can cause some serious harm. Grass seeds can lodge themselves into any part of your dog’s body. Grass seeds will generally start their journey when they get caught in your dog's coat during a walk or play in long grass. From there, they are able to penetrate the skin and if undetected, can travel to various areas of the body. Grass seeds carry infection through the skin and into the body and will generally cause painful swelling which progresses to cause an abscess in your dog.
It is important to be vigilant during the late spring and summer months when there is a greater risk of grass seed problems. Important tips to prevent grass seed problems are listed below:
• Keep your grass and weeds under control at home with regular maintenance
• Avoid long grass when on walks
• Keep long haired dogs groomed, particularly around their feet and ears.
• Inspect your dog all over after each walk, making sure you check in between and under all toes and underneath the ears
• See a vet immediately if you suspect a grass seed problem, the earlier the problem is detected, the better chance you will have of finding the grass seed before it causes further problems or becomes very difficult to locate!