Foxtails are Scary for Dogs this Summer: Here's What You can Do
Owning a pet dog is a huge responsibility. Not only do you have to take care of your pup's basic needs, but you also have to be on the lookout for potential dangers. These dangers can be heightened in the warmer months when pests such as ticks are more prevalent.
Many dog owners may not know that danger is lurking in the grass and even in the air. Foxtails can migrate with the wind and embed into your dog's skin.
What Are Foxtails
Foxtails are a type of grass common in the summer months, but can also stick around through December. The potentially hazardous foxtail plant is found mostly in the Western states. The small seed from the foxtail can get stuck in your pet's fur or skin.
The foxtail plant is usually located in tall grass, but can virtually anywhere that plants grow. Additionally, the seeds can travel with the wind.
Why Are Foxtails Dangerous for Dogs
The danger of foxtails lies in the seed's ability to embed in a dog's skin, resulting in an infection that could be deadly. Even a foxtail stuck in your dog's fur can present a hazard due to its ability to migrate to other areas on your dog's coat and skin.
Your pup's skin isn't the only area vulnerable to foxtails. The grass can get in your dog's nose, ears, eyes, and even between their toes. Without taking necessary precautions against foxtails, you may not know your dog has gotten into them until it's too late.
The symptoms of foxtails often present only when a seed is already embedded or otherwise irritating your dog. For embedded foxtails, the skin around the injury will be red and swollen. For foxtails caught in the ears or fur, your pup will likely itch the area aggressively.
Foxtails can cause limping and soreness in the legs if one is caught between the toes. The grass can even lodge in your dog's eyes, causing redness and discharge, among other symptoms.
If the foxtail is visible but not yet embedded, tweezers can remove the foxtail without a vet visit. However, if the affected area shows any signs of infection or the foxtail is too deep, a trip to your pup's vet is in order.
How to Protect Your Dog From Foxtails
It's not reasonable to keep your pup inside to avoid foxtails and other grassy dangers. What you can do is brush your dog's fur after each walk. Also, doing a check of their ears and paws will be necessary.
Foxtails can be prevented altogether with protective gear for the paws, such as Walkee Paws.. The doggie leggings protect your pup's paws while looking stylish. PAWrent Barbara from Fullerton, CA, recently tried the newest Walkee Paws for her dog, Bug. The Walkee Paws Leggings/SKULLS in size small are a hit with both mom and pup.
On behalf of Bug, Barbara wrote the following testimonial about her Walkee Paws experience with foxtail grass.
"Our pup "Bug" received his Walkee Paws today. We tried them out and he did great in them. I'm so glad we can take walks on our bridle path where there are foxtails that get stuck on his feet. The last time it cost us $700 at the vet!
Walkee Paws can help prevent foxtail injuries from happening to your dog.