When you’re out for a walk with your dog, you may have noticed certain weeds and grasses found in vacant lots. There are many plants in these places, but one that can cause some nasty issues for dogs is the foxtail plant. Dogs may even eat this plant. But what are the problems these plants can cause for your dog?
Has your dog eaten a foxtail? Are you worried the foxtail will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve put together information about foxtails and the health issues they can cause a dog. Let’s get started!
What are Foxtails?
Foxtail is a name given to several types of grassy plants with a top that resembles the shape of a fox’s tail. The foxtail’s top consists of spikes that are not harmful. The problem comes when the plant’s seed head develops and dries.
The seeds can work through a dog’s skin and eventually into his organs. The seeds can also be inhaled, get into a dog’s eyes & ears, and more. The problem is that once the seeds are in the dog’s body, they don’t break down. Instead, the seeds can become lodged anywhere in the body and cause an infection. They can also cause death if they’re not removed.
When the seeds are inside the dog’s body, it’s difficult for x-rays to spot them. This can make surgical removal very challenging.
Symptoms of Foxtail Ingestion in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten foxtails:
- Oral swelling
- Lumps in the neck (once the area has become infect3ed)
These symptoms may indicate that the foxtail seeds are caught in your dog’s throat. If you notice these or other concerning symptoms in your dog, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Treatment of Foxtail Ingestion in Dogs
If your dog has ingested foxtail seeds, it’s probable that your fur baby will need surgery. The vet must find and extract the seeds, drain the infection, remove any dead tissues, and treat your dog for infections or other issues caused by the seeds.
The prognosis is best for dogs who receive prompt medical treatment. And prevention is always best. Try to remove all foxtails from your yard and monitor the spaces where your dog walks and plays. Avoid areas that have foxtails to keep your dog safe in the future.