Dog owners are being urged to check their pets after taking them on walks over fears of health problems that can be caused by grass seeds.

Barbed seeds have been causing havoc for pooches in Brighton and Hove, sticking in their paws, noses and ears and causing intense pain.

Now, as the seeds have become more prevalent due to the hot weather, vets are urging dog owners to take steps to protect them.

The Argus: A dog with a bandage on after needing surgery to remove a grass seedA dog with a bandage on after needing surgery to remove a grass seed (Image: The Argus)

One concerned dog owner whose pet is recovering from surgery said: “Our poor miniature schnauzer has just had a grass seed stuck in his paw for the second time – it happened last summer too.

“It’s agony for him – he couldn’t walk on it and had to be anaesthetised for it to be removed and it’s hugely upsetting for us.


“We don’t take him on the field any more but all the pavements near our house are covered in seeds as the weeds are so overgrown. It is impossible to take him out without running the risk of getting a seed stuck.”

Grass seeds can be particularly painful for dogs if they get stuck in their paws and often  need anaesthetic for them to be removed.

In more extreme cases, seeds can become lodged in ears and noses and can cause more severe complications.

The Argus: A grass seed removed from a dog's pawA grass seed removed from a dog's paw (Image: The Argus)

Peter Haggis, clinical director at Wilbury Vets in Hove, said that his practice was seeing two or three cases of dogs with grass seed issues every day.

He said: “The problem is that when the grass matures it sheds its the seeds and they get into all sorts of places.

“It’s more around the edges of fields with longer grass.

"We are not saying people shouldn’t take their dogs out. People should have fun with their dogs but it is important too that they get to know the risks.”

Peter urged pet owners to check their dog’s feet after walks and to remove any seeds by “gently teasing” them out of their fur.

Another tip is placing larger cotton wool balls in dogs' ears before walks as this can act as a barrier for the seeds.