When you're out with your dogs, it's always a good idea to check their bodies for foxtails. This barbed, grassy weed can burrow into your dog's skin and can become very dangerous. Foxtails are relentless; they can cause swelling, discharge, abscesses, pain and, in severe cases, death.
Here are common places and symptoms of foxtails:
- Ears: Shaking head or scratching incessantly at an ear (they can travel down deep into the ear canal.)
- Eyes: Pawing at a red, swollen eye or if the eye has discharge.
- Nose: Frequent intense sneezing or discharge.
- Feet: Swelling, redness or limping. Foxtails love to dig into their toes and travel up their paws.
It's always a good idea to examine your dog's fur after playing or walks. Especially May–December during foxtail season. They have to be removed!
Check their paws, face, ears and even inside their mouths. If you do see a foxtail that's easy to get to, use tweezers to remove it. If it's deeply embedded, or swollen and red, call your veterinarian right away.
Since they can easily migrate, better to get them out as soon as possible. For your dog's sake.