With their combination of scavenging habits and inquisitive nature, most dogs, at one time or another, will be likely to have a foreign object embedded in their skin. Sharp objects such as glass, needles, thorns, as well as plant seeds, are the most common culprits that can be embedded in their skin. These items often enter the eyes, nose, ears, skin, vulva, and particularly the area between their toes. For this reason, always examine your dog’s coat and skin for any sign of foreign bodies after taking him out for walks.
Signs that your dog has a foreign body embedded in his skin are when he shakes his head, paws at the wound, sneezes, or when he licks at the wound vigorously. His body will try to get rid of the object by creating a local bursting abscess, although objects such as grass seeds can sometimes travel throughout the body.
Check your dog’s ears and body for plant seeds after taking him for a walk, especially during dry weather. When a foreign body accidentally enters his ear, you can easily remove it using tweezers. If you notice that your dog is shaking his head, this may be because the seed is lodged deeper inside of the ear canal.
In this case, you will need to take him to the vet. In the meantime, to relieve your dog’s discomfort temporarily, you may fill the affected ear with mineral oil or olive oil. Filling up the ear with oil will help float the seed up for easy removal.
If you notice that your dog is pawing at his eye or vigorously rubbing his head on the ground, hold open his eyelid and check for grit or grass seeds. Try floating out foreign body in the eye using eye drops or olive oil. If the foreign object has penetrated the eyeball, do not try to remove it and take your dog to the vet as soon as you can.
Sharp objects, such as needles, thorns, and shards of glass can enter your dog’s paw pads, and grass seeds can enter the webs of skin between his toes. If you notice your dog limping, check his paw and remove any visible object using tweezers. However, if the object cannot be seen, bathe the foot several times daily with salt water until the object becomes visible and can be easily removed.