The dangers of grass awns for dogs

Grasaren (grass awns), the withered spikes you see among the tall wild grass in summer, are a danger to dogs.

In short-haired dogs, grass awns are still easy to spot and quick to remove. In long-haired dogs it is different.

Local political party Sociaal Actieve Burgerpartij (SAB) has received many questions from residents in recent weeks about the effects of grass awns in their dog's coat, paws, ears, nose and even intestines and mouth. Vets in Maastricht speak of a substantial growth of this condition, which often requires surgery for removal. The veterinary clinic in Caberg (north east Maastricht) has treated at least 1 dog every day last month suffering from grass awns.

Grass awns are protruding spines in tall grass and occur mainly in the summer months. Between the spines are small seeds. Both the spines and also the seeds can get into a dog's feet, ears, nose, fur or mouth and cause pain and discomfort.

SAB has noticed a high incidence of grasses at the edges of public pavements, around obstacles and dog walking areas and has seized on the problem to ask the gemeentebestuur (municipal council) to mow more along the pavements and in dog-walking areas to remove the grass awns as much as possible.