My Dog has a Grass Seed in its' Paw - What Do I Do?

Grass seeds are very common foreign bodies that penetrate between a dogs' toes. The sharp seed, that is often spiral shaped, penetrates the soft webbing of the foot and can travel up the tissue layers of the foot and leg very quickly.The site of penetration will have a hole, surrounded by red, swollen and painful inflammed tissue.The dog may be licking the site constantly; cats can get them too!

So what can you do? In many cases, especially if the seed has been there for awhile, surgery will be required to remove the seed and flush the wounds. Antibiotics and pain relief will be required.

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However, if you have noticed the problem early, you may be able to treat it at home with a poultice to try and draw out the seed, or at least bring it to the surface. Quite often applying a poultice for 12-24 hours will result in the tip of the grass awl showing at the skin surface. With good light and a pair of tweezers you may be able to see the awl and pull it out. Once removed, flush the wound with dilute betadine solution. (1:10 water)

How to apply a poultice.

Materials required: Magnoplasm (from chemist), cotton wool or similar padding, elastoplast.

Method: Apply Magnoplasm onto piece of gauze and place over wound, wriggle the gauze down between the toe, then wrap foot with lots & lots of padding, as per diagram. Finish with elatoplast or Vetwrap, you may need a little sticky piece at the top to stick to hair of leg.

Most dogs will be comfortable with this sort of bandage; some may need to wear an E-collar if they want to chew at the bandgae. If poulticing does not have the desired result after 24 hours or paw is very painful, please see us immediately.

DO USE LOTS OF PADDING & REMOVE AFTER 24 HRS.

DO NOT BANDAGE TOO TIGHT - DO NOT TOURNIQUET THE FOOT, IT SHOULD BE FIRM BUT NOT TIGHT.


Joan Deetman 2013