As summer descends upon us, dog owners are more likely to take their beloved pets out to play in the green grass and bathe in the sweet rays of the warm sun. However, there is an insidious danger that lies beneath those lush fields: the danger of grass seeds.
What are grass seeds?
These are seeds that rely on animals’ movements in order to spread themselves as far as possible. They have sharp ends that can easily pierce into your dog’s skin and stay there.
Most dogs will feel an annoyance when pierced, and will naturally lick at the sore spot. However, all that will achieve is to push the grass seeds further into the affected area, which can cause further complications.
What problems can they cause? Why are they so dangerous?
Grass seeds are relatively harmless if they only do superficial damage, but if they manage to burrow deeper into your dog, they can cause inflammation and great pain. The most common areas where grass seeds can cause problems are:
- Paws: Grass seeds can lodge in between the toes and cause inflammation and abscesses. If left untreated the dog may find it difficult to rest weight on the affected foot.
- Ears: Grass seeds can lodge themselves firmly in the ear canal and cause soreness and chronic inflammation, and may even rupture the eardrum.
- Eyes: Grass seeds can easily lodge in the eye when your dog rummages through the grass fields. In severe cases they can even cause the cornea to tear and may cause blindness.
How can I protect my dog from grass seeds?
Unfortunately, there is no simple way to completely protect your dog from grass seeds, but there are measures you can take to reduce chances of grass seed infection in your dog. Measures include ensuring that your lawns are mowed, avoiding areas with overgrown grass and grooming your dog regularly to keep grass seeds off your dog.
Finally, it is imperative to pay attention to your dog and take note of any weird behaviours that your dog may be displaying. If your dog is constantly scratching at its ears, or displays pain when walking, these may be signs of grass seed infections and your pet should be taken to the vet immediately to find out the cause!
Pay attention, be smart and your dog will be free from the danger of grass seeds!