Protecting Your Dogs From Foxtail Grass

Protecting Your Dogs From Foxtail Grass

Foxtail Weed

Foxtail Weed

Foxtails can be very dangerous to your dog. Foxtail plants have heads that are barbed so they only work in one direction which is forward. In late spring and early summer is the season to start examining your pets coat and watching for foxtails. Foxtails will not just cause a simple irritation but can lead to a serious infection in your dog. The dog’s body is incapable of degrading or decomposing foxtails and unless it is caught early, the bacteria that are carried on them will form an abscess or migrate through the body causing infections and tissue damage.

The areas to check for foxtails are their nose, feet, inside the ears, eyes and mouth. Some symptoms to look for in these areas are:

  • Nose: discharge from the nose, sneezing frequently and intensely, blood coming from nose
  • Feet: swelling, limping, constant licking of the feet, abscess
  • Ears: shaking of the head, swelling of the ear, tilting of the head, scratching constantly,
  • Eyes: redness, discharge, swelling, squinting, pawing at eyes
  • Mouth: gagging, coughing, swelling of the face and/or neck

The best prevention against foxtails is avoidance of general exposure by keeping your dogs out of overgrown, grassy areas and remove any foxtail grass in your yard. If you know that your dog has been around foxtail, brush their coat carefully and check ears, toes, mouth and gums.

Foxtail from ear of dog

Foxtail from ear of dog

Do not forget, foxtails will not come out by themselves, they can burrow anywhere on the animal like paw, nasal cavity, ears, eyes, mouth, lungs, or spine.

If you suspect your four legged friend has a foxtail issue, please contacts us at 505-869-2627 and we will be glad to discuss your pet’s symptoms with you and or make an appointment for your pet.