The Dangers of Foxtails to pets

From this title you might be wondering what a foxtail is?

Foxtails are a type of grassy weed that flourish in the spring/summer time that releases barbed seed heads. Here in California with all the rain that we had this winter the amount of foxtails are abundant and impossible to avoid even if dogs are walked on sidewalks.

Foxtails can also be called crabgrass, bottle grass, bristle grass, @Carla_C said that in the UK you guys probably call them grass seeds.

So how can this grass be dangerous to pets? The barbed grass part can work their way into any part of your dog’s body (or even cats)- including eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and even directly into the skin.

I’m attaching photos so sitters and homeowners alike can be aware. We have always known about foxtails since becoming dog owners and typically check our dogs paws nightly as they easily get trapped in between the nails and lodged into the skin. Up until just recently we’ve been very lucky that they haven’t gotten in his skin.

I noticed last week that a large mass was on the top of his paw and after a very expensive vet visit to sedate him they found not just one but FOUR foxtails in his paws. So be aware this summer as you’re on your walks and check your pets daily even if they are only walking on sidewalks, the wind will blow them everywhere.



Thank you for sharing this @Kelly_U and I’m so glad that Zorro is on the mend.

This is the third case I have heard about requiring surgery in 5 days

This article has a video showing just how quickly the grass seed/foxtails can get buried in a dog.


Thank you for sharing @Kelly_U and I am so pleased Zorro is better.

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@Kelly_U Thank you for sharing as I never considered this could be such an issue before and I will check for them when I tick check as well :slight_smile:

Get well wishes to Zorro :hugs:

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