Why spear grass can be a pain for your dog

Holly likes to roll around in the warm, tall grass on a hot summer day.

But her owner has learned her dog’s little ritual comes with a price.

“We looked in her ear and we couldn’t see anything at all,” Linda Lovisa said. “She just kept shaking her head and using her paw to kind of claw at it.”

Lovisa took Holly to the vet, where Dr. Moshe Oz found both spear grass in both ears.

“It’s those early cases of the summer: people don’t really pay attention to the pain in the ear,” Dr. Oz said.

A spear grass seed had embedded in Holly’s right ear and perforated the eardrum. A larger piece of spear grass was making the left ear irritated.

Other than keeping dogs away from spear grass while outdoors, Dr. Oz doesn’t know how to prevent the insidious seeds from harming pets.

“That’s the million dollar question,” he said.

“Every time you go outside, check the dog carefully,” Dr. Oz said. “Check in between the toes, in the ears and all around the coat.”

Golden Retrievers, Labradors and poodles tend to hide spear grass seeds more because of the colour of their coats, according to Dr. Oz.

Lovisa plans to hike in the forest rather than grass after the experience.

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