I just came home from a lovely walk with my dog—right through a wild area just filled with foxtails. You know those awful plants with the barbed seedpods. We were pretty lucky today—my dog’s smooth coat sheds the foxtails with ease, nothing lodged between her toes or in her ears, and she didn’t inhale any barbs. Whew.
Foxtails are not to be taken lightly. They can burrow into the skin and cause infections. They can work their way down an ear canal, up a sinus cavity, and into an eye. They can travel far into a dog’s body—into the lungs and other organs. I had a dog that had a foxtail in her uterus! Fortunately the veterinarian found it when she was spayed and before it cause serious damage.
Because there are so many foxtails in our area, they can be difficult to avoid completely. Still, I am going to choose my hiking destinations with a little more care for the rest of the season and do full-body foxtail checks at the end of each day.
How do you deal with foxtail season? How do you protect your dog?
Nicole Solis says
2 Foxtail surgeries in 2 months… each surgery costs $500. My min pin keeps inhaling them. So I had to purchase her a fox guard mask.
Mardi Richmond, MA, CPDT-KA, CC says
Let me know how it is working for you. I’ve not tried one, but I hear they work well.