Wild Foxtail Plant Presents Hidden Dangers For Dogs

For dog owners, summer is an exciting and fulfilling time.

You can finally give the pooch in your life all those long, carefree walks that you couldnt deliver on over the winter. From now until fall, its just romps through fields and endless games of fetch, as far as the eye can see.

But hold on for one quick second.

Before you go about living out your summer vacation dreams with your best buddy at your side, its important to be aware of some of the dangers that can befall dogsin the warmer months.

Youve probably already tackled fleas and ticks, and you may have even perused our handy guide to protecting pooches from some of the obvious perils of the summertime.

But theres still one more threat that all pet parents should know about and, boy, is it a doozy.

Its a plant colloquially known as foxtail, and it might be a big threat to your pets safety if you dont know what to look out for.

Scroll through below to learn all about this nefarious weed, what makes it dangerous, and how you can protect your pup.


Foxtail is a deceptively soft and pretty plant at first glance.

Named for its distinctive spike of seeds, its a wild grass that grows in abundance anywhere west of the Mississippi.

Now, this fast-moving grass is also spreading up and down the East Coast, bringing a new hazard to people who may not be familiar with it.

The danger of foxtail lies in the spikey head, which is designed to help the grass disperse its seeds efficiently and thoroughly.

Unfortunately, whats advantageous for the plant can be very dangerous for Fido.

Thats because the spike that helps the seeds burrow into the earth is, in fact, quite lethally sharp.

As a result, the spiky seeds of the foxtail can actually penetrate skin, fur, or paw-pads.

The small, sharp seeds can also be inhaled by a pup sniffing an interesting scent, or licked in an attempt to soothe a sore spot.

Thats where the danger for dogs really takes hold.

These viciously sharp seeds can introduce infection and create sores when they penetrate the skin or fur.

Once they work their way more deeply into the dogs body, they can wreak infinitely more damage.

They can travel through the sinuses into the brain, or work their way down through the internal organs; causing damage, spreading infection, and in some cases, causing death.

Part of that is because of the shape of the seeds.

Many foxtails seeds have a sharp, penetrating point, and then an array of barbs on the stem that prevent the seed from moving backward.

That means that it can be particularly hard for your dog to get rid of the irritation on her own, and other measures, like sneezing, may not be able to dislodge the spurs.

Dogs with long ears might be especially vulnerable.

But before you get too scared, take a breath. You can protect your dog from foxtail, just by being your vigilant self.

Keep your dog from walking or running through any stands of brushy, feathery grass.

Brush and check your pooch thoroughly for any burrs in her coat when you get home, and double-down if your pup has long or fluffy fur.

If she starts to hack or sneeze repeatedly, take her straight to the vet.

Protect the dogs in your life by reading further about foxtails on WebMD, and dont forget to SHARE this lifesaving information with fellow dog lovers!

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/foxtail-plants-danger/