Topic: Grass ears can have unpleasant consequences for dogs

Author: Nuyvilaq Working Dogs

Reading time: 5 min

Grass spikes occur every year, especially around the summer, in flowering grass along the roads and meadows. They can cause a lot of problems in dogs. They are also called crawlers, because their anatomy means they can only crawl in one direction, namely deeper and deeper into the body. Barbs on the grass cutter prevent the grass cutter from going out easily again. Due to their sharp point, they easily drink through the skin. They mainly cause problems in the ears, between the toes, in the skin or in the nose. Once the grass has absorbed the body, the body considers it a foreign object. The body responds with inflammation. There is often redness, pain, swelling and sometimes fever.

Ears If your dog suddenly starts shaking his head a lot after a walk or rubs his ear against objects, or shows pain when scratching at the ear, you should think of a grass ear that has gotten into the ear. Especially dogs with lop ears with a lot of hair are known with grass spikes.

A grass ear in the ear is very painful. The dog shakes its head vigorously and becomes restless or even shy. The annoying thing is that the grass ear will crawl deeper and deeper into the ear canal. Do not get started with this yourself, but make an appointment with the vet quickly.

Ears are very sensitive and act quickly because you absolutely do not want the grass ear to penetrate through the eardrum and end up in the middle ear. The vet can use an otoscope to insert a small pair of forceps into the ear canal, with which the grass dander can be removed.

Sometimes, if the grass spike is not yet too deep and the animal does not react too painfully, this can be done without anesthesia. In other cases it is sometimes necessary to give a light intoxication first.

Toes If a dog has a grass ear between his toes, he will often lick or scratch a lot and sometimes there is a hole in the skin.

The dog may limp if the tip of the grass spike has penetrated the skin. The grass hair will then tend to get deeper and deeper under the skin. It can happen that a thickening develops, which eventually becomes a fistula to drain the inflammatory fluid. If you get there early enough, you can remove the grass cover with the help of tweezers.

Make sure there are no barbs in the skin. Grab the grass dander as close to the skin as possible and carefully pull the dander from the skin. If this does not work or if the dog does not allow this, go to the vet. The treatment can sometimes be quite difficult, because the grass grass can travel a considerable distance under the skin and thus settle in an unknown place.

The wound must be properly disinfected. This is a very frustrating injury because it is not always clear whether the grass spike is still there or has come out again. An operative search in inflamed tissue is also no fun, for both the dog and the vet.

Eyes If your dog suddenly has problems with an eye after a walk and wants to rub it with the paw, there may be a small seed or a hair of a grass ear in the eye.

You can first see if you see something, but usually grass seeds quickly disappear behind the 3rd eyelid. This is an emergency. It is not life-threatening, but damage to the eyeball must be treated quickly and properly to preserve the eye.

So go straight to your vet. After a local anesthetic of the eye with an eye drop, he can look behind the third eyelid with special tweezers and remove the seed or hair found from the grass ear.

If you wait too long, the seeds can penetrate the eye mucosa and are then no longer visible. A few weeks later they can cause an ugly inflammation above or behind the eye. Prevention is better than cure.

In the summer it is difficult to avoid areas with wild growing grass. Grass on the roadsides is also not always mowed and then grass has the chance to come to full bloom.

Check your dog for grass spikes after every walk. Feel for the coat with your hands and check especially the feet, armpits, nose and ears.

Also keep an eye on your dog's behavior. If your dog suddenly sneezes, coughs or shakes his head a lot, it could mean he is suffering from a grass dander. If your dog licks a lot in one place, for example between the toes, that can also be an indication.

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Houd ook het gedrag van je hond in de gaten. Als je hond plotseling veel niest, hoest of met zijn hoofd schudt, zou dit kunnen betekenen dat hij last heeft van een grasaar. Likt je hond veel op één plek, bijvoorbeeld tussen de tenen, dan kan dat ook een indicatie zijn.