Grass Seeds and Awns in Dogs
The real danger is with any type of working dog

Grass seeds and awns in dogs may sound quite harmless, but in some cases, the damage that they cause can be so severe that it will threaten the life of your dog.

Most owners will confuse grass seeds and awns as freshly planted grass seed or the occasional awn that your dog comes in contact with in your yard.

But this is not where the real danger lies. The real danger is with working dogs, field dogs, and hunting dogs that come in contact with the seeds and awns found in fields and areas of tall grass.


Grass seeds and awns in dog’s real dangers come from the many different kinds of both natural grass and other plants that are in fields and tall grassy areas.

They will naturally affect working dogs and field dogs, but any breed of dog faces the same danger when they venture into this natural arena.

Sporting dogsThe severity will depend on the number

There are several types of grass as well as plants that have awns or seeds that have bristle like fibers that are just waiting to cause damage to your dog.

Some of the Grass seeds and awns in dogs have shapes that allow them to stick to your dog on several parts of their body.

Their hair coat is the most obvious target, but that is only the beginning of where they can become attached.

Burdock is perhaps the best known plant for causing problems with awns sticking to dogs, but there are several others that are just as dangerous.

Some of the plants that have smaller seeds are just as dangerous, and in some cases, much more dangerous.

Some of these plants or grass includes fox tail, spear-grass, feather-grass, and buzzard grass, just to name a few.

Some of these not only attach themselves to your dog’s skin, but can actually invade or migrate into your dog’s tissues.

Once this occurs, this is where the real dangers start.

Not only do they affect your dog’s skin, they can also affect their eyes, ears, nose, lungs, as well as several other organs.

If they migrate to internal organs, they can very easily threaten the life of your dog.

These grass seeds and awns in dogs can cause problems by entering into your their nose, can get caught between their eyes or worse yet their eye lids, or they may become stuck in their toes.

They can also make their way to your dog’s gums, ears, or several other part of their body.

The seeds that cause the most damage will be shaped like darts or have bristle like fibers that act like darts.

They have very sharp points as well as very long tails and they target your dog when they come into contact with them.

When they do make contact, they not only stick to your dog, they also prick your dog.

Once they have pricked your dog, they become almost as dangerous as a tick, as they will slowly start to burrow into their skin.

If they are not removed as soon as possible, they continue this progression and can actually burrow several inches into your dog’s skin until they start to reach their internal organs.

Because of this, they should be treated very serious, as they can do a tremendous amount of damage.


Grass seeds and awns in dogs affect pets very differently and their reaction will depend on the number seeds or awns that have attached to your dog, their location, as well as their actual shape.

If they have become attached to the hair behind your dog’s ear, you may see no actual signs of any problems other that matted hair.

However, if the seed or awn has gone into your dog’s ears, or more specially their ear canal, you will see several types of reactions.

The first may be your dog shaking their head trying to shake it out, as well as scratching at their ears.

You may also see them rub their ears on furniture or the floor as well as hold their head at slight tilt, as they are starting to become very painful.

These are all signs that they are showing you something is very wrong in their ears.

If they affect your dog’s eyes and become lodged between the eye and the eyelid, their eyes will become red, inflamed, and tears or a discharge may follow.

This should be taken very seriously as it can very easily lead to a corneal ulcer that can rapidly cause a loss of vision in your dog.

If they attack your dog’s nose, your pet will start to sneeze, paw at their nose, and a nasal discharge may follow.

Sneezing in dogs is not uncommon, but excessive sneezing that these seeds or awns will cause is not only uncommon, it is a real warning sign.


However, when grass seeds and awns in dogs affect the skin, several things can occur and most of them are not good.

In some cases your dogs will work at the affected spots and actually dislodge the seed or awn. Why this sounds good, it actually opens up several other doors of real danger.

When your dog works at the spot to dislodge this invasion, the seeds can very easily become attached to their gums, tongue, as well as their mouth.

Once this occurs, something very sinister will follow; they will swallow the seed or awn.

This is where the real danger with grass seeds and awns in dogs comes in, as they can now cause several things to occur.

The first is that once they are swallowed; they may stick to the back of your dog’s throat.

This is extremely dangerous as they are now next to their tonsils.

Once they have become stuck there, they can easily cause inflammation as well as swelling to occur.

This will cause your dog to begin to cough, which is the most chilling sound you will ever hear from your dog.

Coughing is almost always the result of something very bad occurring in your dog.

As it starts to worsen, your dog may also gag and retch and they will have difficulty not only eating and drinking, they will also have very difficult time breathing.

However, this is still not all of the damage that grass seeds and awns in dogs can cause.

If the seeds do burrow into their skin, it can cause swelling or abscesses to occur.

When this happens, your dog may also develop sores that begin to drain which can cause additional infections.

The real damage, however, may be about to surface.

If the seeds or awns are accidentally inhaled by your dog, they may migrate from their skin into their chest where they enter into the lungs.

Once they are in their lungs, they can cause life threatening abscesses to develop.

But this is still not the end of the treats, as they can also penetrate into their abdominal organs.

If they migrate near your dog’s spine, this simple little seed or awn may paralyze your dog.

They may also cause your dog to become very ill, develop extremely high fevers, as well as develop a difficulty in breathing.


Grass seeds and awns in dogs will affect most all dogs, but working dogs, field dogs, and hunting dogs, are at the greatest of risks.

All owners should become familiar with their immediate area or areas where you may travel with your dog and be aware of when the local environment is seeding at full capacity.

If this is not preventable, there are protective vests that cover your dog’s chest and abdomen that will prevent the vast majority of these dart shaped weapons from attaching to your dog.

Clipping long haired dogs, especially in the spring and fall when most of the seeding occurs, can also be very helpful.

However, there is nothing more effective than checking your dog when they return from a field or a tall grassy area.

Closely check between their toes, their ears, as well as their armpits and groin areas. If you do see a seeds or awns, try to remove them with a pair of tweezers.


Grass seeds and awns in dogs can be extremely dangerous. If you cannot remove them on your own, seek professional help as soon as possible.

Treat them just as serious as you would fleas or ticks.

Although they are not alive, they can still burrow into your dog.

The sooner you find them and remove them, the less risk your dog has from their dart like attacks.

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