Protecting Your Gundog from the Perils of Grass Seeds

Grass awns, the prickly seeds most common in tall grass during the summer, can quickly make their way into a dog's ear canal. Their elongated, reverse-facing barbs make them challenging to extract.

These seeds, with their sharp ends, have the potential to breach the skin, the inner part of the ear, and even the eardrum. Such invasions often lead to significant discomfort, causing dogs to shake their heads vigorously.

It's not just the ears that are at risk. Grass awns can also find their way between a dog's toes, irritate their eyes, or become lodged behind the 'third eyelid', jeopardizing the cornea's health.

While all dogs are prone to grass seed hazards, those with fluffy coats who relish dashing through elongated grass face greater risks. To mitigate these concerns, avoid taking your dog for walks in meadow-like terrains during hotter months. Instead, choose areas with short grass, pathways, or forests. It's also advisable to maintain short fur around your dog's ears and feet, limiting the possibility of grass seed adherence and infiltration.

Post-walk, always inspect your dog for any noticeable grass seeds on its fur or skin and eliminate them at once. Should you find a seed embedded or if your pet appears distressed due to a particular area, or if there's suspicion of a seed in its eyes or ears, seek veterinary advice without delay.