Ollie and the Grass Seed – MHVC Story of the Month

Ollie is a delightful 3 year old Border Collie who came to see Dr Natalie because his owner suspected he had a grass seed abscess in his groin area. She had previously shaved the area after noticing a matt of fur and grass seeds, and thought that all the grass seeds had been removed, but then found a lump on the skin.

Ollie was anaesthetised so that Dr Natalie could explore the lump and fortunately for him 2 grass seeds were located and removed (they can sometimes hide very well!). Ollie went home a bit sleepy but feeling a lot more comfortable for having the grass seeds out and should recover fully from his little operation.

Grass seeds are very tricky things and can disappear under the skin very quickly due to their backward pointing barbs. This time of year we see many dogs with them stuck in their ears, feet, eyes and skin. Once they get in they don’t like to come out and end up causing ongoing pain, irritation and infection, and can travel quite a long distance in the body.

Apart from shaving the hair, the best prevention for grass seed abscesses is early detection, so regular grooming to check for seeds in the fur is imperative, especially in longer haired dogs, and if you notice any suspicious lumps or irritation of the ears or eyes, get them checked as soon as possible.

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