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.
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.