It's that time if year where grass seeds can cause a bit of havoc. They like to travel through the hair towards the skin and then pierce the skin and keep traveling. Here are a few tips after a walk, to help reduce these pests causing problems
Check the skin.
The main areas you will find grass seeds are in between the toes and paw pads, under arms and groin.
Use a hair dryer
A hair dryer can help you see to the skin by separating the coat. Hold the dryer at a distance where you can see the skin but the hair isn't folding back in on itself (this can create knots)
Thorough brush through
Brushes the coat from head to toe straight after a walk. This will get the grass seeds out before they get to the skin.
I'm a stickler for seeing the skin from head to toe. The skin can tell us a lot about our dogs health so I'm always sure to be systematic so I don't miss anything. It also means I will pick up on grass seeds the have already hit the skin and able to remove before they become a problem. Once I spot one my tweezers come out and I check right through the entire coat.
Dogs love nothing more than a run through the long grass during the warmer seasons. These outings are a good way to encourage physical and mental stimulation for pets as well as an opportunity for us to bond. But sometimes even the smallest of things can ruin a good time. Grass seeds! While very small and not looking like much trouble they can cause big problems for our canine friends.
This little dog shows the damage that can be caused by grass seeds if not noticed right away. The grass seeds make their way up though the dogs coat and embed themselves into their skin. Once embedded infections start to form which can cause serious health problems as well as discomfort and pain.
So how do I avoid this problem?
The best way to protect your dog from grass seeds is to be particularly vigilant during the months when they pose the greatest risk – usually from late spring to the end of summer. Keeping grass and weeds under control at home with a combination of mowing, removal and poisoning can reduce the number of seeds that the dog is exposed to.
When out walking our dogs, avoiding long grass is another way we can help, but we all know that some of our dogs love to jump through the tall grass and have fun. So once home make sure you do a thorough check of your dog from head to toe particularly paying attention to in between the toes, armpits, ears and groin areas and removing any grass seeds seen on the dog.
For those long coated breeds regular grooming will help reduce the amount of grass seeds attracted to the coat. Matted coats can hide grass seeds and infections, so by keeping the coat Matt free we can easily identify any changes to our dogs skin.
So what do we do if we find grass seeds in the dogs skin?
Immediate removal if not embedded to deep and the area cleaned with salty water is your best option. This will prevent infection and swelling occurring. If infection and swelling is already present or the grass seed has gone into the skin to deep a trip to the vet sooner rather than later is advised. They will be able to remove the grass seed safely and advise if antibiotics are necessary.
Happy long summer walks with your dogs.
Bianca is the owner and groomer at Funky Fur dog grooming and always looking for ways to help you care for your pet.