Recently, veterinarian Dr. Eric Barchas wrote a blog post on Dogster regarding the dangers of foxtails during the spring. Dr. Barchas actually said that being ‘foxtail-savvy’ is one of his two top budget-friendly ways to help protect your pet. I thought this topic was important and wanted to share his thoughts with you.
Foxtails are clusters of grass that form into spikes and are found all over the country, with the biggest problem found in California. When a dog or cat comes in contact with foxtails, the spikes can lodge in their skin, ears, eyes, mouth, nose, and private parts. Once in place, they can burrow into the body, causing infection and inflammation. If they end up in sensitive places such as the heart or the lungs, they can even cause death.
So here are Dr. Barchas’ tips to prevent any of that from happening:
1. Know what they look like and stay away from them if spotted.
2. Never let a pet roam through tall grass.
3. Check you pet after every walk, paying special attention to the feet, chest, and ears.
4. If you see any sign of a foxtail infestation (irritated ear or eye, violent sneezing, inflamed skin), immediately take the pet to the veterinarian. (Trupanion will cover veterinary treatment associated with foxtails.)
Following these tips will help protect your pet from a devestating encounter with these plants.
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.