Dog health risks might be all around your yard and your neighborhood so you need to learn which plants to avoid like foxtail or poison ivy to keep your dog safe from skin irritations or even worse your dog may need surgery to remove the foxtail seeds that can dig deep into your dog’s body and become a deadly threat to your dog when undetected or not treated immediately.
This news brief gives you the dangers of foxtail grass to your dog thanks to Andreas, a fan of Dog Health News, who lives in Greece and owns a prize winning Greek Shepherd Dog named Pery.
Dog Health: 4 Dangers of Foxtail Grass to Your Dog
- Seed clusters or awns – Foxtail grass has sharp clusters of seeds that stick like velcro and are designed to take root in the ground. There are barbs on the seeds that help to anchor them in the dirt.
- Bacteria – Along with the sticky clusters of seeds is bacteria that breaks down cells or your dog’s skin which enables the seed to bury itself in the ground or your dog’s body.
- Reseeding – If your dog has contact with foxtail grass, it can attach to your dog’s fur and the barbs on the cluster will move toward your dog’s skin. Foxtails are a dog health danger because they can dig into your dog’s body like they do in the ground.
- Infections – Your dog can pick up foxtails on all parts of his body including your dog’s toes, genitals, ears, eyes, nose, mouth and throat. Embedded seed awns can lead to your dog’s death if untreated. Because foxtail seeds move forward, they can travel in your dog’s body toward your dog’s brain and lungs through your dog’s nose.
Symptoms to Watch for if your Dog has Picked up Foxtails
• Around your dog’s nose – Watch for bleeding from your dog’s nostril after he sneezes and also watch to see if your dog paws at his nose.
• Around your dog’s ears – Watch for cries from your dog that indicate discomfort or pain. Other dog health issues are pawing at his ears, shaking of his head or if your dog tilts his head.
• Around your dog’s eyes – Watch for a mucus discharge, tears from your dog’s eyes or if your dog squints
• Around your dog’s mouth – Watch for excessive swallowing, gagging and coughing or if your dog eats grass and starts to stretch out his neck like your dog may be choking.
How to Prevent Foxtail Problems on Your Dog
• Grooming – Brush your dog’s fur during late Spring and Summer which is foxtail season. Look for the barb like awns in your dog’s fur daily. Trim your dog’s fur so he won’t attract foxtails.
• Face & paws – Check your dog’s eyes, ears, nose and mouth for any irritation or dog health symptoms daily. You can use tweezers to remove the foxtails that are easy to reach.
• Environment – Keep your dog away from grassy or overgrown wooded areas and remove foxtail plants from your garden or yard.
Note: If you suspect that your dog has picked up foxtails you should call your vet immediately and bring your dog to your local emergency animal hospital. Since embedded foxtails may result in fatal infections, it’s best to seek professional help for your dog.
Pery’s Dog Health Story about Foxtails
Pery, a 4 year old Greek Shepherd Dog, that lives in Greece picked up some foxtail awns in his ears. Andreas, his owner, was able to get Pery to his vet right away to remove the foxtails. Now, Andreas wants to warn all dog owners about this dangerous plant that grows all over Greece, California and many other places in the world. Thank you to Andreas for sharing Pery’s story and photos. Pery is a guard dog and has won 3 prizes in Greek dog shows. The Greek Shepherd Dog has no known dog health issues and an average age span of 12 years.
Dog Health News encourages you to write to us about your dog’s health stories so we can help other dog owners take better care of their dogs.
Share this article with your friends and family so they know about foxtails and learn what they can do to keep their dog safe and healthy. You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.
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