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Protecting your Pet from Barley Grass Seeds

Protecting your Pet from Barley Grass Seeds

As the weather warms up during summer we often see an increase in grass seed related problems. Barley grass is abundant this time of year and the effects on dogs lead to many emergency trips to the vet. The bristle-like fibres of these seeds make them stick to various surfaces. They cling to the fur of dogs and other animals. Due to their shape the seeds burrow into fur and skin where they might become lodged. They can enter nose or ears, get between eye and eyelid and are often found between toes. If a seed is not removed immediately, muscular movements cause it to burrow deeper into the body travelling many inches sometimes reaching the animals internal organs.

You can protect your pet by avoiding areas with tall seeding grass. Clipping long-haired dogs, especially between toes will aid in prevention. If your dog has been on a grassy adventure check their coat carefully, removing any seeds. Look especially behind the ears, around the head and eyes, in the ‘armpits’, groins and between the toes. If you cannot remove a seed contact your veterinarian as soon as possible since it will only become more deeply buried and harder to take out.

Once seeds become buried it is often very difficult to find them. The entry point may or may not be visible, especially if it has migrated several inches. Treatment can be very tricky at times often requiring an anaesthetic to explore an abscess and having to make several incisions in an attempt to find the seed.

Protect your pet from encounters with grass seeds. If your pet is having a problem due to seeds, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, before a very serious condition develops.

Published Wednesday 15th of July 2015

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