Pet parents urged:

Beware the grass seeds!

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference – and when it comes to a pet’s paws, grass seeds can cause major irritations requiring veterinary attention and unexpected bills.

Pet insurance specialist PD Insurance advises all pet parents to be mindful of the risk posed by seemingly harmless grass in the wake of multiple claims from its customers for treatment related to seeds caught up in paws and elsewhere.

“We’ve been seeing a surge in grass seed treatment claims over the past few weeks. Grass seeds can be really painful and can even cause permanent damage if around the ears or eyes,” says COO Michelle Le Long. “While dogs are more susceptible given their habits, cats can also suffer from seeds caught in their fur and skin.”

In one such case, an English Springer Spaniel had a grass seed caught in his front left paw. The pup incessantly licking and worrying at the limb prompted a visit to the local vet.

“Luckily, this pet parent was insured,” notes Le Long, “Because once we’d processed the claim, the total cost for a tiny grass seed went well past $500.”

As is common in incidences like this, the vet needed to make an incision to remove the seed, which had worked its way under the flesh of the poor pup’s paw.

Le Long says, “This highlights the risk of infection and long-term discomfort for your pet, as well as showing what happens when a grass seed is lodged and irritates the skin. The pet will work away at it with mouth and paws, which can drive the seed deeper, exacerbating the situation.”

Since most pet parents want to avoid any vet visit and prevent pets from suffering discomfort and pain, Le Long says the first step is, where possible, avoiding long grass, particularly if it’s the type with arrow-shaped hard seeds. The next step is vigilance: keep an eye out for physical evidence of seeds in your pet’s coat; brush after a walk in long grass or grass that’s in seed; and watch for behavioural cues that might indicate the presence of seeds.

Another preventative measure is trimming the hair around paws, legs and stomach; long haired breeds are more susceptible, but even short hairs are likely to pick up prickly or sharp seeds.

Cats, of course, tend to be a little more independent in their comings and goings, so when it’s petting time be on the lookout and act if necessary.

“In severe cases, it may even be necessary to give your pet a bit of a clip or shave to get rid of an abundance of seeds. Doing so is better than leaving them to work through the coat and into the skin. Once that happens, a trip to the vet becomes likely as the risk of more serious complications increases,” says Le Long.

In the case of the insured English Springer Spaniel, the value of an insurance policy became clear. Instead of facing a bill of $500, getting the pup back on all paws cost nothing more than a one-off fixed excess.

“Pet insurance makes the cost of pet medical care far more predictable and affordable for pet owners. You never want to think twice about visiting the vet, whether for a possible grass seed problem or anything else,” Le Long concludes.

 

Media contact 

Leandri Smith – The Mail Room 
027 365 9003 | [email protected]