The dreaded grass seeds…

A couple of weeks ago we headed off on a walk with Maximus, a walk we went on a lot. This particular walk has a field that is full of long grass which Max loves running through. As expected, Max was covered in seeds.

This photo was taken on the walk for our Instagram story. It shows just how covered he was!

Unfortunately, when we checked him over at home, one of the grass seeds had gone into his right paw.

All that was left was the small hole where it had entered, so we couldn’t pull it out. Remember to check your dog thoroughly after a walk, this lesion was very small and we could’ve easily missed it. It was swollen like a blister. We decided the best thing to do was go to the vets the next day and get professional advice.

It was clear that his paw was really irritating him and he was very bothered by it. He was constantly licking it and not letting us look at the wound.

Look at those sad puppy eyes…

Max really hates the vets and finds it very stressful, it was so sad to see him so distressed. Despite that, the vet we had was very friendly and helpful. She took Max into a separate room in hope that it would calm him down, she trimmed his paw and had a closer look at the affected area. The vet couldn’t say for certain if the grass seed was still in there or not, but to be sure we arranged for Max to be sedated the following morning to have a proper look inside his paw.

Luckily for Max, when we went to drop him off the next morning the vet decided he wouldn’t need an operation and it would just be unnecessary stress for Max. Instead, we were given anti-inflammatory tablets that he had to have twice a day (at breakfast and dinner). We also had to soak Max’s paw three times a day in warm salty water. It is important to boil the water first to prevent any bacteria getting into the paw, irritating it and risking infection. We were instructed to leave his paw soaking for 3 minutes.

Max wasn’t too pleased about the regular paw soaks… but he was very well behaved and stayed still whilst we did it.

We put the tablet in with his food and I don’t think he even noticed it, he was too busy gobbling up his delicious Guru!
Maximus could only go on very short walks, but he is generally very calm anyway so it wasn’t a big problem, it was my sister and I who were suffering from ‘cabin fever’!
We regularly checked his paw to see how it was doing, whether it was healing or getting worse. We noticed that it was getting more swollen and red, the following afternoon my sister found a grass seed on the surface of his paw, slightly above the cut. Since then, the irritated area started to go down so we came to the conclusion that that was the seed causing the problem.

We continued soaking his paw until we were sure it was fine. Max has been quickly recovering since and is now back to his normal happy self. The lesion has gone and is no longer irritating him.

An important lesson we have learnt is that it’s best to keep Max’s paws trimmed as grass seeds tend to attach to the fluff. Spaniels in particular are prone to grass seeds due to their fur type, but any dog can get them. The common places they tend to attach to is the paws (which could travel further into the body) and ears (which could damage the eardrum), but they could attach to anything. They can even enter through the nose and cause complications to their airway.

The reason I decided to write this blog is because I want to share our experience in hope that it helps you. It’s crucial to notice a potential grass seed in your dog early if you can, otherwise it risks the grass seed travelling further and deeper into your dogs body. This would make locating it more difficult and cause greater complications. The vet also told us that grass seeds seem to be worse this year, causing more problems for our poor dogs. So just be careful and always check your dog throughly after a walk, otherwise you may be faced with costly vet bills! 

Thank you to Beaumont Vets for being so helpful.

Charlotte & Maximus x

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