Keeping Pets Happy, Healthy and Safe!

Watch out for Foxtails!

Foxtails, a perennial grass growing abundantly in our area, can cause infections and possibly even death to dogs and cats. The plants grow quickly during the winter and spring rains, then the one to two foot plants dry out during the summer and spread their seeds. This is when they are the most dangerous to pets.

The actual seeds look like little brushes with pointed ends and barbs like fish hooks that make them easily stick to the pet's fur. If it penetrates the skin, it can cause infection, allowing it to burrow deeper, making it possible for the infection to enter the bloodstream.

Once a foxtail works itself into the skin, it might have to be removed by a veterinarian, perhaps even surgically and with anesthesia.

Telltale signs….A foxtail lodged in your pet's ear, will cause it to violently shake its head…. in the nose will make pet sneeze repeatedly, often with blood…..under the skin can cause an infected lump to appear. Foxtails often stick in paws and pets will constantly lick and bite at it and painful lumps can appear.

Inspect your pets carefully after they have been exposed to foxtails. It is advisable to keep your pets from playing in wild fields and canyons where foxtails might be growing, especially during the summer months.