Case File

A Pesky Grass Seed for Chester - a Case Story

by Sam Woodnutt BVSc MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

Chester is a 7-month-old male Cockapoo who came in after having sneezing episodes over the weekend. He was still completely fine in himself, showing no other signs that could suggest anything was wrong. Despite this, his owners were keen to get him checked over as this sneezing was out of character for him.



On clinical exam he was very excited, alert, and aware of his surroundings. No discharge, wounds or any abnormalities were visible on or near his nose and face. His eyes were also clear. Nothing else on full examination was abnormal. Nevertheless, suspicion of a foreign body stuck up his nose was high due to the excessive sneezing and attempts to clear nostrils.

Following a detailed discussion, a nasal scope was recommended to further investigate his signs and his owners were happy for this to be undertaken.

After a general anaesthetic, an endoscope (keyhole camera) was passed via his throat to check the back of his nostrils, which showed no abnormalities. Then it was passed up both nasal passages directly, revealing a grass seed firmly embedded about 3 inches up his right nostril. This was then removed safely using specialised forceps.



 Chester went home the same day with some pain relief and antibiotics. He did not sneeze once after the procedure or at home, and his owners now have no concerns with him. Here he is enjoying some down time!



His owners did very well by catching the signs early but if left alone, this seed could have caused serious issues such as an abscess, ruptured passages or in severe cases a serious risk to life due to the burrowing and migratory actions these seeds often do.

Seeds have previously been found in the heart, lungs and even the spinal cord!



Grass seeds are especially common in the months of late spring to summer, when the grass is longer, and our furry friends spend extra time tearing around in this grass! They are very sharp and therefore can get themselves embedded almost anywhere, but most commonly find themselves in between toes, under eyelids, up nostrils and in skin.

They can be very painful, but sometimes signs are subtle, and they can be invisible once embedded, so if in doubt always worth a check-up!