Spinney Vets: Grass Seed Dangers

A leading Northampton vet is urging dog and cat owners to be wary of the dangers lurking in fields and meadows from grass seeds.

Lisa Bond, Clinical Director at Spinney Vets, in Northampton, said they have seen a number of cases where grass seeds have embedded themselves in between the dog’s toes, or have managed to work themselves inside their ear canals causing head shaking. The embedded seeds will cause pain initially, but could develop into uncomfortable swellings which may become infected.

Lisa said: “Grass seeds are one of the most common problems encountered by dogs in the summer months especially after a hot, dry spell when the grass in the fields has not been cut. We have already dealt with several cases.

“One poor dog came to us with about 50 of them embedded in his fur around his feet and armpit areas.

“Most dogs like nothing more than to roll around in the grass on a sunny day but unfortunately these seeds can cause huge problems for them.

“Removing them can also be a time-consuming process, as the entry wound may need to be explored under general anaesthetic before crocodile forceps, and saline flushes are used to try and find the seed.

“There have been cases of seeds burrowing through the skin and travelling as far as the chest or spine.

“If you think your dog may have a problem caused by a grass seed, you should contact your vet immediately.”

Lisa has advised owners to check the fur around their dog’s feet and ears after a walk and to keep the feathery fur between their toes trimmed to help avoid the seeds from becoming snagged.

To book an appointment, or for more information on Spinney Vets, which also has a newly-refurbished practice at Wootton Fields, visit www.northampton-vets.co.uk or search for Spinney Vets on Facebook.