Tilly and her grass seeds story

Tilly, a 6 year old Cocker Spaniel, came to the clinic because she had been licking her foot a lot and her owner had noticed a lump. Tilly and her family had just returned from a holiday at the family farm where there were an abundance of long grass. Our veterinarian examined Tilly's foot and saw an entry point so flushed the wound and removed a grass seed with forceps.

Once a grass seed gets under the skin, the body tries to eliminate it and pus is formed that usually swells into an abscess which looks like a lump. Grass seeds can travel a long way into the body, causing on-going infection if left untreated and sometimes the entry hole can heal over leaving no clue to the source of the problem.

Not long after visiting us, Tilly had a groom and the groomer noticed another lump had appeared in between her toes. Tilly returned to us where our veterinarian tried to flush and explored the wound but no grass seed was found. A poultice (which aims to draw out the grass seed) was applied and bandaged. The bandage was removed a few days later however still no grass seed. Tilly was admitted to hospital for a general anaesthesia to open the wound and explore the sinus. Luckily a grass seed was found and removed. Tilly had 3 grass seeds in total removed from her paws and one requiring a general anesthesia. She was a very good patient and has made a full recovery.

Ensure you check your dog thoroughly after each walk and remove any seeds in the coat. Common areas to check for seeds are ears, between toes, armpits and eyes. It is best to have long-coated dogs trimmed, at least the feet and belly, to reduce the chance of grass seed penetrating into the skin. If you notice any signs of lesions, infection, swelling or lump on the paws or body of your dog, seek medical advice.