The danger of grass spikes in dogs
In the spring and summer the grass grows and grass spikes are formed especially in the wild high grass. These spikes consist of seeds and vicious little barbs. The danger is that they can attach to the skin and get into the eyes and ears, causing serious inflammation.
Grass spikes and dogs
Grass spikes are mainly present in the period from June to August. They are also called creepers, because they can crawl forward over the skin or through the hair, as it were. When a dog walks and runs in the tall grass, the grass spikes break off the grass and attach themselves to the dog. When this happens, they can even penetrate the skin. At some point, a spike can get very deep into the tissue and is therefore difficult to detect.
Inflammation may develop, often in the form of a fistula to drain the inflammatory fluid that has arisen.
The most common places where the spikes end up are:
- In the ear which can cause an ear infection and in the worst case, a spike can also penetrate all the way through the eardrum.
- In the skin. Very often between the toes in the soft tissue, but also in other parts of the body.
- In the eye. Via the eye, they can get behind the eyeball and cause serious damage and inflammation.
- In the pharynx or esophagus. The dog has swallowed a grass spike and gets stuck there.
- In the nostrils. A severe nasal infection can then develop.
What to watch out for with grass spikes?
- If the dog starts shaking its head, tilts its head, scratches its ears and sometimes also squeaks because it can hurt. There may then be a grass ear in one ear.
- If the dog is lame and / or licks a lot between the toes. If a small hole is visible, there may be a grass dung unless the dog has already licked it away. Check whether inflammation develops and whether antibiotics will help. If not and there is still a hole visible, then you must look carefully for the possible grass cover.
- If the dog develops an eye, rubs it and it tears. Sometimes a spike is still visible, but often it can quickly disappear behind the eye.
- If the dog suddenly sneezes a lot or rubs its nose with its paw. A spike may have crept into a nostril.
- If the dog suddenly starts coughing a lot, a grass spike may have been swallowed.
After every walk, check the dog for all possible sensitive places where a grass hair can attach itself, so walk along the entire body; examine carefully between the coat, between the toes, in the ears, eyes, mouth and nose.
If the grass spike is not properly removed completely, the residue can cause many problems. If there is any doubt whether the spike has been properly removed or if the dog continues to have complaints, it is best to consult a veterinarian. It will then be checked whether the remains can be removed properly (depending on the place), sometimes this will have to be done under anesthesia. If necessary, antibiotics are given or one chooses to allow the grass to swell in a controlled manner.