Dangerous foxtail seeds

Seeds from foxtail plants are like fish hooks, making them stick to almost any material or surface. Although it may be easy for us to simply brush them off, for our dogs it is not so easy to get rid of them.

Foxtail grass is abundant in fields during the spring and it begins to dry up when summer arrives. As it dries, the seeds detaches themselves easily from the stem and readily sticks to our dogs’ skin.


Foxtail seeds, a danger to our dogs.

Due to its lance-like shape, the foxtail seeds can easily climb and get into the skin, but they are very difficult to get out. Once they enter, they stick: the seed only wants to move forward, not backward.
The most common areas where the spikes dig themselves in are in between our dogs’ toes, in their ears, eyes and skin folds.

Once the seed enters the dog’s body, their body (which is clever) will detect this foreign body and activate its defence system, getting rid of the spike through the entry wound or by creating a protective capsule around it. If this capsule does not go down, you must take your dog to the vet so that they can remove the seed.



How to avoid foxtail seeds on your dog.

  • Avoid walking through areas of dry or semi-dry vegetation.
  • Carefully brush your dog each time you have been for a walk around a field.
  • Thoroughly check the folds of your dog’s skin, their ears and their paws.


How to detect if your dog has a foxtail seed.

  • Your dog constantly licks and bites their paws.
  • Your dog tilts their head from side to side or shakes compulsively. (Seed in the ear)
  • If your dog shows signs of swelling, redness, discharge, squinting or pawing at their eyes there may be a foxtail lodged in their eye.
  • If there is discharge coming from their nose or if they are sneezing frequently and intensely, they may have a seed lodged in a nasal passage.


What to do if your dog has a foxtail seed.

  • If it’s a seed that cannot be removed by hand or with tweezers, take your dog to the vet immediately.
  • Do not try to remove it if the seed is lodged in their ear, you could push it in even further.
  • If the seed is lodged in one of their paws, you can try to get it out by placing it in warm salt water. This will slow the dangerous foxtail seeds down from entering any further and make it easier to get out.

Have a nice day!

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