Dog owners are calling on the council to act after their puppies suffered serious injuries due to grass seeds in an overgrown park.

Cavapoos Mabel and Ralphee were running around in Easthill Park in Portslade when they got barbed seeds stuck. One was in Mabel's eye and one in Ralphee's ear.

Now, after seeing the pain the dogs went through, their owners are calling for the grass to be cut and signs warning pet owners to be on their guard.

The Argus: Mabel following her surgeryMabel following her surgery (Image: Jacqui Hayes)

Jacqui Hayes, who owns eight-month-old Mabel, said: “It was incredibly stressful. When we got back from the park she had a sleep and she was really distressed. When she woke up she had blood all down her face.

“It happens every year. My other dog, Noodle, had some in her ear last year.

“People need to know that their dogs aren’t safe there. I’m not taking my dogs there any more.”

Jacqui asaid Mabel had to be taken to a "super vet" in Buckinghamshire for the grass seed to be removed. The puppy was sedated and operated on.

The Argus: The grass seed found in Mabel's eyeThe grass seed found in Mabel's eye (Image: Jacqui Hayes)

Grass seeds can be particularly dangerous for dogs as they can get stuck in paws, ears and other areas causing potentially serious complications.

Dogs such as spaniels and poodles with curly hair are particularly at risk as the seeds can easily become embedded.

Mick Guthrie was walking six-month-old Cavapoo Ralphee in Easthill Park when the pup got a grass seed in his ear.


Mick said: “We lost count of how many seeds - we picked out about 50 seeds just off his fur.

“We thought we had got everything but he was yelping. He is part of the family and you get emotionally invested, it’s quite traumatic for him and us.

“We spent £700 on the vet’s bills but it’s not the financial side of it, it’s the fact that this could be avoided.

“The point is that it wouldn’t have happened if the grass had been cut.”

The dog owners have been calling for either sections of the grass in Easthill Park to be cut back or for more signage to make people aware of the problem.

Areas of the park, looked after by Brighton and Hove City Council, have been turned into a wildflower meadow with long grass to help promote wildlife in the area.

A council spokesman said: “We believe these injuries are likely to have been caused by barley grass seeds.

The Argus: Easthill Park in PortsladeEasthill Park in Portslade (Image: Google Street View)

“Barley grass has been growing in verges across the country for a long time now. It is naturally occurring and is something we cannot eliminate.

“The issue of dogs occasionally being injured by barley grass is a national issue in dry conditions.

“In order to minimise the risk to a dog, owners should be careful to check where their dog walks and keep them on a lead if they have any concerns.

“It is a seasonal issue and is widely reported. During much of the year there is no significant risk.

“We would not consider putting temporary signage up on this basis.”