Three Problems Foxtails Can Cause For Your Pet

Posted on: 14 June 2017


With warm weather now in most of the United States, it's more common for pets to go outside. However, with that warm weather comes a dangerous threat in the form of a simple weed. Foxtail weeds can potentially cause serious harm to dogs and cats, even though they look harmless. Read on to learn three ways these weeds can injure your pet.


Foxtail weeds can easily become embedded in the eye or around the surface of the eye, like in the tear duct. This can cause infections or even blindness to occur if the damage is severe enough. If you ever notice a foxtail adhered to your pet's fur near their eye, you should remove it immediately to prevent this problem. However, if you see that your pet already has a foxtail stuck in their eye, don't touch it. Instead, hurry to a veterinarian for animal medical care. Attempting to remove the foxtail could cause part of it to break off inside the eye, causing further problems.


Foxtails can actually make their way into your pet's lungs under the right circumstances. If a foxtail is inhaled through your pet's mouth or nose, it can migrate down into the lungs, where it can stick in the walls of the lungs. This causes irritation, difficulty breathing, and can potentially cause severe infection. The lungs don't have any way of breaking down the foxtail once it's in there, so removing it will require surgery. In order to prevent this from happening, never allow your pet to go near foxtails where they may be tempted to sniff or bite the weeds.


Foxtails can also harm your pet's skin and muscle tissue. When they brush against foxtail weeds, those foxtails can become stuck to their fur. From there, the foxtail can eventually become stuck in the skin if your pet lies down or rolls on the foxtail, pressing it against the skin. Foxtails can cause infection and tissue damage to the skin and muscles like anywhere else in the body that they come in contact with, so groom your pet thoroughly to find and remove any foxtails before they can cause problems for your pet.

Since foxtails can be carried on the wind, your pet may not even necessarily need to go near a foxtail plant in order to be harmed by it. Make sure to always check your pet for foxtails in order to keep them from causing harm to your pet's health in these three ways.