Foxtails travel. Moving relentlessly forward, never back, they can migrate from inside your dog’s nose to its brain. They can dig through skin or be inhaled into — and then perforate — a lung.
Any dog can get foxtails in the ears, nose, eyes, or mouth. But dogs with long ears and curly hair can be especially prone to foxtail problems. Prevent issues by:
The easiest way to prevent foxtail problems is to keep your dog out of overgrown, grassy areas. You should also pull out any foxtail plants you find in your yard. Also consider trimming your dog’s hair during foxtail season, especially if it tends to persistently get foxtails in one spot.
Pitcairn, R. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, Rodale, 2005.
Foxtails and Your Dog: Risks and Symptoms
Embedded foxtails can cause discharge, abscesses, swelling, pain, and death. If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms, check for foxtails or talk to your vet:
The plant is often hard to spot when mixed in with grass, as it starts out low to the ground with leaves parallel to the soil. Three main types are common in North America. These are:
What is Foxtail Weed?
If you are against chemical herbicide use, pull off the seed heads to prevent the plant from repopulating the area. Dig deeply to get the long roots, using a long slender weeding tool.
Pre-Emergent Foxtail Grass Control
Many types of invaders threaten the emerald green expanse of lawn that is the pride of many gardeners. One of them is the common foxtail, of which there are many varieties. What is foxtail weed? The plant is usually an annual but occasionally a perennial. It invades disturbed soils across North America and produces thick “foxtails” of seeds that spread prolifically. The rapid growth of the plant means controlling foxtail weeds is a priority for the health and appearance of turf grass.