Has Seeds – Will Travel; Des Moines Vet Clinics Explain the Dangers of Burr-Type Seeds

Des Moines Vet Clinics Warn Pet Owners Against the Dangers of Plants with Burr-Type Seeds
by Dr. Tanja Frye

Fall is the time of year when most plants naturally reseed themselves. Unfortunately, some types of plant seeds can find their way onto your dog’s skin and haircoat. Many of these seeds, such as what are commonly known as ‘sticktights’ (view left – photo courtesy of www.thegardenfaerie.com) are just an annoyance and can be removed with your pet’s daily brush-out. Several Des Moines vet clinics offer grooming services that may be beneficial for the removal of this type of seed.

Some seeds – such as Yellow Foxtail Weed (view right)– may find their way into your pet’s eyes and can then be captured in the pockets of the conjunctiva. These can be removed with an eye flush of artificial tears (a procedure that can be done at any of the Des Moines vet clinics or with the help of your Ingersoll Animal Hospital Healthcare Team).

The most worrisome are the Wild Barley grasses (view left) – sometimes referred to as Foxtail Grass. Rarely are these removed easily and the seeds can embed themselves in any tissue. The seed’s construction allows it to move forward into the tissue, making it difficult (if not impossible) for the body to excrete. It is important to look closely at the feet, between the toes and toe pads, under armpits and tails, under eye lids, and in ears after your pet encounters areas where these grasses may be prevalent. Des Moines vet clinics or the Healthcare Team at Ingersoll Animal Hospital can provide careful inspection of your pet should you have any concerns.