Spring is here and we are so blessed to be living in beautiful San Diego with its gorgeous weather, beautiful beaches and wonderful walking trails! But the warmer weather can bring hazards to those who enjoy trail walking with their dogs!
Foxtail plants are everywhere in San Diego and also the western ½ of the United States. The season for foxtails are May – December but I have seen them appear a bit early this year!
All your dog needs to do is brush up against one. Any dog can get foxtails but dogs with long ears and curly hair are more prone. The foxtail plants with their barbed seeded heads can work their way into any part of your dogs’ body from the nose to between the toes, inside the ears, eyes and mouth or dig themselves directly into a patch of skin.
The danger of these foxtails can go beyond simple irritation because the tough little seeds don’t break down inside the body. An imbedded foxtail can lead to serious infection, abscess, swelling, pain or even death!
Foxtails travel moving relentlessly forward, never back. They can dig through skin or be inhaled into and then perforate a lung. They can migrate from inside your dogs’ nose to its brain!
The easiest way to prevent foxtail problems is to keep your dog away from overgrown grassy areas.
If this is not possible examine your pets coats and brush your dog as necessary and look closely for pointy foxtail awns.
Check their face, ears, mouth and gums and between paw pads.
Remove with tweezers any foxtails you can easily get to but if a foxtail is deeply embedded or the area is red or swollen contact your veterinarian immediately.
Remember, foxtails will not come out on their own and they can burrow into the brain, spine, eardrum or lungs.
We are caretakers of our precious pets so be aware, keep them safe and enjoy your Spring!!
All Fur Love