Apr 21 2008

The Dangers of Foxtails to Dogs

Published by at 7:21 pm under Dogs

Once foxtail grasses dry out, the seed detaches easily and sticks readily to fur. Foxtail seeds
can enter a dog’s body in a variety of ways and once they enter, they act like an animated fishhook: the
seed continues to move forward through the dog’s body, and because of tiny barbs, cannot move
backwards. Foxtail sees are tenacious, and can be deadly.

Things to watch for:

  • if a foxtail seed has been inhaled, the dog will sneeze repeatedly and violently
  • a foxtail lodged in the paw or under the coat will usually form a lump can usually be removed surgically
  • a dog will usually paw at the eye and the eye will water if a foxtail gets in the eye
  • if a foxtail gets in their ear, they will usually shake their head violently

If you suspect a foxtail, get your dog to a vet immediately.

To prevent foxtail injuries:

  • If possible, avoid foxtail infested areas
  • Thoroughly brush and inspect your dog’s coats if it has been in tall, mature grass. Dogs with long hair are particularly susceptible to foxtail seeds
  • Look in your dog’s ears
  • Examine your dogs paws (in between toes and paw pads, neck (under the collar), tail/anus, and underarm area after walks

– From sfdog.org


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