If your pet has never had a run-in with foxtails, you may be curious about what they are. foxtails are given as the description of many types of grasses that carry spiky seeds. In the wild, where the animals are mostly short-haired, the foxtails become attached to the hair. As the animal moves, the foxtails become dislodged and fall to the ground, thus growing more foxtails. However, domesticated animals who pick up foxtail spikes can suffer from a variety of health problems because of these seeds. Oak Valley Animal Hospital in Beaumont can help with your pet's foxtail issues.
Symptoms and Risks
foxtails primarily affect dogs. These pesky barbs get stuck in the eyes, nose, and ears of unsuspecting canines. Symptoms you might see are:
- Eyes: Glue-like discharge from the eye and squinting. If left untreated, the eye can become irritated, the cornea can be scratched, ulcers and conjunctivitis can develop. In worst-case scenarios, blindness can occur.
- Nose: Episodes of volatile and brutal sneezing that may be accompanied by bloody mucus. Typical problems that can ensue include persistent nose irritation and infection as well as harm to the nose tissues. Also, the foxtails can move up the nasal cavity and into the brain.
- Ears: Head tilting or shaking. Eardrum damage and even deafness can take place due to chronic infections.
How Can I Prevent Foxtails?
All of this sounds very scary and it is. However, there are some things that dog owners can do to protect and prevent foxtail problems.
- Avoid areas where foxtails grow such as trails, roadside areas with lots of weeds, salt marshes, prairies, flatlands, and grasslands. Tall grassy areas are prone to foxtails as well.
- Brush your dog frequently and check the fur and skin for spikes that might have attached. Remember to inspect the paws, his or her underbelly, under the neck, the ears, and nasal pathways.
- Use tweezers to take out any spikes you see and make sure you get the whole thing. It is always a good idea to take your dog to the veterinarian to make sure all of the seeds are gone. If removed completely and immediately, you can reduce the chance of infection or migration.
Oak Valley Animal Hospital in Beaumont wants to help with all of your pet's healthcare needs. Our veterinarian is trained to spot foxtail infestations and will advise you on the best course of action. Call us today at (951) 381-1230 to make an appointment.