Foxtails: Tiny Seeds, Big Problems

Foxtails: Tiny Seeds, Big Problems

Foxtails are one of the more serious pet hazards in our area: not only can they work their way into any part of your dog or cat, but they’re very hard to find in a pet’s fur. They like to get around, too—a foxtail in the nose can migrate to the brain and one in the skin can eventually make its way to a lung.

To decrease exposure to foxtails, try to keep your pet out of tall grasses and remove all foxtail plants from your yard. If your pets are outside frequently, brush them regularly and check for foxtails over their entire body, paying special attention to your pets’ ears, mouth, nose, between their toes and around the base of their tail.

While you can use tweezers to remove foxtails you find on your pet right after attachment, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Constant licking of an area, especially feet or genitals
  • Limping or swelling of a foot
  • Shaking the head, tilting it to one side or scratching incessantly
  • Redness, discharge, swelling, pawing or squinting of the eyes
  • Frequent or intense sneezing, or nasal discharge

At Del Valle Pet Hospital, we encourage you to ask us any questions you have about foxtails and how they affect your pet, especially around this time of the year. For more information, or if you notice any of the above symptoms, please contact us at 925-443-6000 or reach out online.