Brentwood Family Pet Care

Sly as a Fox(tail)

Northern California is home to a dizzying and rich array of plants, including foxtails. On first inspection, these weeds might seem harmless, but they actually pose serious dangers to your pet’s health.

Foxtails work their way into any part of your dog or cat, and 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 keep an eye out for the fanned-out seed cluster that characterizes the foxtail’s particularly growth pattern. If your pets are outside frequently, brush them regularly and check for foxtails over their entire body, paying special attention to ears, mouth, nose, between toes, and around the base of the tail.

While you can use tweezers to remove foxtails you find on your pet right after attachment, you’ll want to see your Brentwood veterinarian 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

Suspect your pet might have encountered some foxtails on their last hike or run through the woods? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 925-240-PETS. And happy trails!