Grass seeds can cause abscesses between dog’s toes

Author: 
Sunny Montague, Wagging Tails Berkshire & Bucks
Thursday, June 22, 2017

If you have a spaniel, retriever or similar dog and your dog takes walks ANYWHERE where there is long grass, the chances are it may have grass seeds between its toes.

Grass seeds have little barbs at one end which, if not removed, can literally bore into your dog’s tender skin between its toes.

You won’t be aware that there is a problem until it’s too late and the seed has embedded itself into the skin. Because your dog can not remove the grass, it will become infected and often leads to abscesses.

Signs to look out for are:

  • Excessive licking of feet and toes in particular
  • Favouring a foot or limping
Grass seeds

If you check between your dog’s toes, you may well find an abscess and your dg will almost certainly not be very happy about you touching the foot as it is very painful.

You can treat the area with salty water; however, I would strongly recommend that you get your dog to a vet if there is an abscess as it is a very unpleasant condition. The vet may have to sedate your dog, shave the area and remove the seed/ seeds and treat the infection.

Obviously, prevention is far better than cure. To keep my spaniel Pickles safe, I keep her feet clipped and the hair between the toes short, particularly at this time of year when grass seeds are prevalent.

I also have a nice cuddle with Pickles every few days and when she is really relaxed, I very gently have a good look between each toe. Even with her fur clipped, I still find grass seeds. I took a photo of today’s find. It’s scary to think that any of these harmless looking seeds could have burrowed its way into my girl’s tender feet and caused her a lot of pain.

I hope this encourages you to take a look at your dog’s feet if it’s not something that you already do. I know that I wasn’t aware of this issue until my first summer with Pickles when she developed an ulcer and had to be treated by my vet. It was very painful for Pickles and for me as her human as it made me feel incredibly guilty and sad that I could have avoided her having so much pain and trauma had I only been aware.

Berkshire dog boarding Franchisee Sunny Montague with her Springer Spaniel PicklesSunny Montague & Pickles own and run the Wagging Tails Berkshire & Buckinghamshire franchise offering owners throughout the SL postcode area a home based alternative to kennels. Go here to find out more about her Berkshire dog boarding service.