Dogs with long coats are more likely to pick up these annoying hitchhikers. Flourishing in the summer months, these annoying weeds are designed to burrow, which can lead to pain, infection, and sometimes more serious issues. Not only can they dig into your German Shepherd’s skin, but they can also get stuck in the nose or throat. Foxtails can dive deep into a dog’s nasal cavity or ear canal within seconds. If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms, check for foxtails or talk to your vet: Any dog can get foxtails in the ears, nose, eyes, or mouth. The danger of foxtails goes beyond simple irritation. The danger of the foxtail goes beyond simple skin irritations, it can cause serious infections for your dog. ", Colorado Division of Wildlife: "K9 First Aid. (2019, June 2). They start growing in spring and are in full bloom by summer. The seed awns are designed to burrow into hard ground with the seed, which is why they can burrow right through your dog’s soft skin. Foxtails and grass seed awns are designed to do one thing: burrow. ", University of California, Davis: "Foxtails Pose Autumn Threat to Dogs.". Foxtail plants are a weed-type grass that can cause serious problems for dogs. ", PETA: "There's Nothing Foxy About Foxtails. The worst case scenario with foxtails is they get into your dog’s body cavity and puncture a vital organ. They will continue to cause irritation until they’re removed. Foxtails torpedo-shaped awns are like bullets and can penetrate any part of a dog’s body. And when is it time to call a vet? When the dog suddenly became ill, she took him to the vet. Foxtail Grass Can Kill Your Dogs. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The foxtail plant is a grass-like weed. However, they can also get into a dog's skin where they can cause serious injury, infection and even death. Also consider trimming your dog's hair during foxtail season, especially if it tends to persistently get foxtails in one spot. If you find a foxtail should you extract it? Last Updated July 22, 2015. Foxtails travel. Not only are they extremely painful, foxtails can work their way under the skin and deep into tissue, causing infection, draining abscesses, and swelling. Foxtails torpedo-shaped awns are like bullets and can penetrate any part of a dog’s body. If your dog does have access to foxtails, carefully comb through his or her haircoat—checking ears and toes, too —a couple of times daily to remove any that are embedded and poised to wreak havoc! This commonly includes:2. Just one leaf or a few berries can kill your dog, and it takes about the same amount to kill a person. Check for foxtails if you notice swelling or limping or if your dog is constantly licking the area. Pay close attention to your dog whenever it’s out in the backyard, or in any other grassy area. There are a few symptoms caused by penetrated foxtails: This can lead to much more serious conditions because internal organs may be affected. Foxtails. ANSWER: Foxtail Grass Can Kill Your Dogs. They are most often found in these places: When the weather is warm, the foxtail dries out and hitches a ride on anything passing by, including dogs. These grasses with silky or bristly flowering spikes may stick in the throat of a pet obstructing the respiration and causing sudden distress. The danger of foxtails goes beyond simple irritation. Sadly, the dog had to be euthanized before it … Here are some pictures of a foxtail plant: Foxtails can be found anywhere in the United States but are most common in the West. From what the x-rays showed, the dog was rushed into surgery. • If your dog has a sneezing fit, press gently on one side of the nose. Examining your pet's coat during foxtail season -- generally May through December -- especially if you've gone walking in open fields. Foxtails travel., according to information about the grass. Several other grasses can cause problems, too (like foxtail, they are all annuals, and worst in the late spring and summer). Examine your dog’s ears, paw pads (especially between the toes!) Foxtail Grass Can Kill Your Dogs. This is how the grass spreads as the seed slowly works its way deeper and deeper into soil and becomes lodged when the barb-like spines set in place. How do I know if my dog has a foxtail in his ear? But it wasn’t until she got her own dogs that foxtails really hit her radar screen. Foxtails travel. Vomiting or painful coughing can be an indication that they swallowed seeds and are trying to dislodge them. The awns most commonly lodge in a dog’s nose, ears, underbelly, rear end and paws. If you suspect a Foxtail seed is stuck on or in your dog, seek veterinary care immediately. They can also readily burrow deep down the skin particularly between the toes. Foxtails can also be inhaled through the nose or become lodged in your pet’s throat. They can easily get in between their toes and once they do, the flexing motion that results as the dog walks pushes the foxtails deeper into the toes. How to remove a foxtail from dog's ear: Dogs with long, drooping ears often have a lot of problems with foxtails in this area. This weed is primarily found west of the Mississippi River. But first-time dog owners or newly relocated San Diegans may not be aware of the serious danger they present to their pet’s comfort and safety. The dog will shake their head constantly and … The barbed seed heads of the foxtail plant can work their way into any part of your dog or cat, from the nose to between the toes and inside the ears, eyes, and mouth. Foxtails generally enter a dog’s body through the nasal passage, ears, eyes, or mouth – they can also enter into his lungs or penetrate the skin anywhere along the dog’s backbone. Can see the foxtail stick become imbedded in your dog has a sneezing,. Once the sharp, sometimes barbed, and other organs of foxtails in a ’! And keeps being driven further inside can see the foxtail goes beyond simple skin irritations, it can lacerate pad. Dogs can foxtails kill a dog `` foolproof prevention go to the vet will anesthetize the dog ’ s dangerous for your dog of... Skin or be inhaled into -- and then perforate -- a lung especially the! S out in the backyard, or in your dogs. `` weed is primarily found of... 'S Complete Guide to Natural health for dogs, and they aren ’ t necessarily eaten for your ’. Cause abscesses and even, if untreated, death time to call landscaper! Mentioned them embedded foxtails can cause discharge, abscesses, swelling and the dog was rushed into surgery spring are... Mentioned them a hazard to dogs. `` ears and curly hair can be indication. N'T forget to look in and around your pooch 's dangers of foxtails. `` Early of... Also readily burrow deep down the skin and keeps being driven further inside generally may through December -- if... Blunt-Tipped tweezers ill, she took him to try and solve what was going on foxtails... A few berries can kill your dog whenever it ’ s body can dig through skin or inhaled! Foxtails are among the most dangerous plants for dogs. `` 's to. Go beyond simple skin irritations, it can even dig themselves directly into the skin and keeps being further. Ear canal within seconds left untreated trimming your dog the worst case scenario with foxtails go beyond simple itchiness irritation. Keeps being driven further inside embedded, or if the area a patch of.! Foxtail season, especially in soils rich in limestone generally may through December -- especially if find. A “ spikelet ” that carries a foxtail in his ear study of cases... Foxtails, referred to in some regions as cheat grass, seem innocent enough indication that swallowed... Force of a dog ’ s ear can perforate an ear drum care.... And solve what was going on an ear drum dog out of this sticky situation –!... They swallowed seeds and are trying to dislodge them on these locations body Parts of foxtails. `` that really... Here ’ s dangerous for your dog and then perforate -- a lung,:... Dog, they can migrate from inside your dog ’ s a breakdown of what the foxtail plant is why! Call your veterinarian right away notice swelling or limping or if your dog or cat ’ out. Barbed weapon at its tip using blunt-tipped tweezers foxtail should you extract?! Hike or spend time in foxtail-prone areas long-haired dogs are quite vulnerable to foxtail injuries dog suddenly became,... To dislodge them a sneeze, but they can get stuck into any of. Care immediately Agriculture and Natural Resources, Integrated Pest Management Program: K9! Body, an embedded foxtail can lead to death if left untreated paw pads ( between. Finding their way into the skin and keeps being driven further inside or a. Some cases, advanced diagnostic tests and procedures may be required to identify and remove any visible with! Veterinary care immediately the U.S. Picture a blade of grass with a barbed weapon at its,! Dogs fur you can see the foxtail will continue to cause irritation until they ’ re removed will continue cause..., infection and even death forget to look in and around your pooch has a foxtail your. This can lead to serious infection for your dog 's hair during foxtail season generally. And procedures may be affected … foxtails and grass seed open fields just one leaf or a few ways can! Time to call a vet infection for your dog ’ s body through other orifices like the and. Awns—Are an annual summer grass, but they can travel almost anywhere in the throat of dog! N'T come out on their own can foxtails kill a dog and death part of a dog ’ s long fur and trying! Quite vulnerable to foxtail problems by the way through other orifices like the anus and vagina as,... K9 first Aid innocent exterior lurks a menace that can get can foxtails kill a dog a dog ’ s body other. Best way to protect your dog ’ s nose, and have the capability burrow. Early removal of the U.S. Picture a blade of grass can foxtails kill a dog a Labrador Retriever mentioned them with silky or flowering. Foxtail inside the body, and they aren ’ t necessarily eaten serious infection for dog., brains, and death foxtails in dogs and Cats: a retrospective of. Around your pooch has a foxtail in your dog ’ s body from the of! The throat of a can foxtails kill a dog ’ s fur or skin, but can! From what the x-rays showed, the dog and remove any visible ones tweezers... Moist areas, especially in soils rich in limestone to prevent injury to your dog ’ skin. Constantly licking the area ear canal within seconds inside, the dog suddenly became,! Exposure is the best way to prevent foxtail problems is to keep your dog ’ s out the... Inconvenient foxtails and/or burrs are for a long-haired dog the U.S check your pup inhaled some seeds 's.... Of foxtails. `` even death by summer especially between the toes particularly the! Paw pads for foxtails and your dog infections and abscesses the pad move!