VET’s VIEW: Watch out for pesky grass seeds in your dog’s coat

Once again our attention has been focussed on the grass as the seeds are spread out, some being easily removed while others stick around to cause a lot of problems.

Saturday, 18th July 2015, 9:00 am
Check your dog's fur for any seeds caught in their fur

No, I’m not talking about Wimbledon, although last week’s dismissal of Andy Murray by number two seed Roger Federer will have disappointed the home supporters.

It’s the pesky seeds from grasses like wild barley, which can cause our pets a lot of misery.

If your dog has thick fur between its toes our around the ears, it’s well worth getting it trimmed so the seeds are less likely to get caught and work their way under the skin.

After you’ve been for a walk with your dog – and it doesn’t have to be in the country, because these grasses can be found growing at the edges of playing fields, and probably tennis courts as well – always check between the feet and under the ear flaps to see if any seeds have been picked up.

Pull them away gently with your fingers, although you may need to carefully cut the fur if it has become matted.

If you miss them at this stage you are likely to find your dog shaking its head violently or developing a swelling between the toes, and then you’ll need some veterinary attention to get it sorted out.

Cats are lucky: their fur does not attract the seeds in the same way, but they do occasionally get a blade of grass caught at the back of their throat after they’ve been eating it.

As you might expect, signs of gagging or coughing are a common indication, but some cats may just have a nasal discharge.

All in all, grass can be a pretty troublesome thing.

Perhaps we should warn Novak Djokovic before he eats any more!

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