Let’s talk about FOXTAILS and the danger they pose to your fury family members!
Updated: Jul 3
Foxtail grass, which is a native grass that occurs naturally in some outdoor areas, is common but potentially dangerous to pets. These dangerous weeds when dried out can embed within your dogs coat, skin, ear canals, gums, nose, and eyes with their barb like cluster of spikes. This could lead to abscesses, infections, and even death as they work their way through the soft tissue of your dogs. Foxtail barbed seed heads can work their way into any part of your dog, from the nose to between the toes and inside the ears, eyes, and mouth. They can even simply dig themselves directly into a patch of skin.
Although the plant can simply cause minor irritation, it’s also been known to prompt serious medical issues. Simply because the seeds don’t break down once embedded in the body, they can cause major infections–some of which can be fatal if left untreated. In the worst-case scenario, the seeds can migrate from inside a dog's nose to its brain or be inhaled and perforate the animal’s lungs.
Always brush your pets coat out thoroughly to remove any foxtails that are stuck in the fur. Check in between the webbing of their toes, armpits, chest, stomach, nose and mouth (particularly puppies), ears, eyes and genitalia areas. Inspect your backyard for any foxtails and remove them as well as keep an eye on a lookout for this menace weed while at the park or on the field trails.
Since foxtails are not typically removed from grassy areas of the parks, it’s best to try to prevent problems before they occur.
If you suspect your pet has an embedded foxtail seek veterinarian care for removal.