A veterinarian has issued an urgent warning to dog owners about the seeds which can prove deadly – and offered advice on how to protect dogs.
Dr. Nicky Ross says that although grass seeds are tiny and seem harmless, they can cause dogs discomfort and pain – and even prove fatal.
And the vet says she’s seen more dogs brought to her clinic with seed-related injuries than ever this year.
She urged owners to be careful after a dog died in Brighton after inhaling a seed.
Dr Ross said: “The shape makes them a problem because they look like little darts.
“We’ve seen a lot of them this year, a lot more than I remember before.”
Grass seeds can get stuck in pets’ feet, nose and eyes, causing severe irritation and pain.
Other rarer, but more serious, complications from the seeds include perforated eardrums and difficulty breathing.
Dr Ross, from New Priory Vets, said she currently sees up to two or three dogs a day that need the seeds removed.
She said the best advice she could give dog owners was to avoid particularly dry fields and check their pets for signs of pain.
Everything you need to know as a dog owner
She said those symptoms could include dogs shaking their heads or scratching their paws.
Dr Ross added: “Be really aware of your dog. If there is something wrong, go see someone about it.”
The warning comes after dog owners called on Brighton and Hove City Council to address the issue by cutting grass borders and dog parks.
A council spokesman told Andover Advertiser: “Barley grass has a long history of growing all over the country.
“It happens naturally and it’s something we can’t eliminate.
“The problem of dogs occasionally injured by barley grass also occurs throughout the country.
“To minimize risk to a dog, owners should be sure to check where their dog is walking.”
How to Protect Your Dogs From Grass Seed Injuries
- Avoid dry fields
- Watch if your dog scratches his paws
- Watch if your dog shakes his head
- Keep an eye out for general unusual behavior
- Consult a veterinarian and seek advice if your dog does not seem himself
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