Grass seeds in dogs

grass seeds in dogs

Many people may not realise the dangers of grass seeds in dogs and just how much of a risk, a tiny grass seed can pose for them, especially during the summer months when grasses are seeding.

These seeds can easily get trapped in a dog’s fur, ears, eyes, nose, and paws, and can cause a range of health issues, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of grass seed-related problems.

Grass seeds – the signs your dog has one on or in them

Excessive licking or biting at a certain area of their body, localised swelling often between the toes, redness, and discharge from the eyes, ears or nose, limping, coughing or gagging, and sudden behavioural changes such as irritability or lethargy can indicate a dog may have a grass seed causing them pain.

If you notice something isn’t quite right with your dog and suspect that your dog may have been exposed to a grass seed, it is important to act quickly for grass seeds and seek veterinary help.

The longer they are left, they more likely they are to migrate into the body and you’d be surprised where they can end up. In the spine, behind the eyeball, they can go anywhere really.

Not to mention, if left untreated, grass seeds can cause severe pain, infections, and even life-threatening conditions like abscesses, pneumonia, or sepsis.

Treatment of dogs with grass seeds

Treatment for grass seed problems varies depending on the severity and location of the seed, and the situation can escalate quickly if the grass seed penetrates the skin.

Your veterinarian may need to remove the seed under general anaesthetic and they can be very tricky to find in some cases, prescribe antibiotics to treat infections, or recommend anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and pain.

To prevent grass seeds infecting your dog, it is important to regularly groom your dog, keeping the fur between the toes short and check for any signs of grass seed presence, especially after walks or playtime in grassy areas.

You can also use protective clothing or boots for your dog’s paws and keep them away from long grasses or areas with seeds.

I’ve treated many cases of grass seeds, with some being quite serious, so it’s really important to be vigilant and take preventative measures to help keep your dog safe from the dangers of grass seeds.


Dr Melissa Meehan is a highly experienced and respected veterinary surgeon with over 14 years experience. Dr Melissa obtained her Members in Small Animal Medicine through examination in 2008 and now runs her own veterinary ophthalmology service. 

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