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Grass seeds and the problems they cause

Grass seeds are a seasonal problem most commonly affecting dogs with hairy ears and feet.

They cause problems because of their rough textures that sticks to fur like Velcro and their sharp arrow or barb shape which can penetrate skin and promote forward movement.


This grass seed was found in the ear canal of one our springer spaniel patients, who was brought into the clinic with a head tilt.


Ears and toes are where these seeds are most prone to attaching themselves and causing their damage. They can burrow into the thin skin between the toes and work their way into the sensitive tissue often causing lameness or infection. They also work their way down the ear canal and lodge next to the ear drum which can cause a head tilt, head shaking or your pet to rub their ears along the ground.

In this case the patient was sedated and the vet found the seed next to the ear drum and was able to remove it. They seemed a lot happier when they recovered and were discharged a few hours later.


If you have a dog with hairy ears and feet, to try and avoid a problem like this, you could try keeping the fur short during the summer months especially around their ears and feet. Always do a thorough check after walks and consider changing your route to avoid areas with long grass. 

If you have any concerns about your pets, please contact your nearest branch for more advice. 

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