Retrobulbar grass seed in a dog

A 2-year-old male English Springer Spaniel presented with a 4-week history of intermittent unilateral pain, swelling, redness and purulent discharge affecting the left eye.

Fig 1. This is a macroscopic photograph of the eye that has been sectioned in half. Part of a grass seed (red arrow) is visible embedded posterior to the globe associated with chronic fibrosis. There is subchoroidal abscessation (yellow arrow) and hypopyon.

Final Diagnosis

Retrobulbar grass seed migration associated with choroidal abscessation and endophthalmitis


These grass seeds typically enter the orbit either via migration from behind the third eyelid, through the conjunctiva or via the oral cavity. Given enough time, the majority will penetrate the posterior sclera and enter the globe. Large bacterial colonies are frequently embedded within the foreign plant material and a suppurative endophthalmitis typically ensues.