It's that time of year again. The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and the weeds are growing! Foxtails are so prevalent in this area, we call summer 'Foxtail Season' in veterinary medicine. If you have property that has large amounts of grass and weeds, now is the time to start chopping them down and protecting your pets. Dogs and cats love to roam and foxtails can get anywhere. We commonly see them in noses, ears, eyes, paws and everywhere in between.
If your pet happens to get a foxtail stuck, it can be very costly to fix. Many times it requires sedation to full anesthesia to remove them depending on where they are. They can also cause a lot of damage. When foxtails enter the skin and aren't removed, they can travel anywhere under the skin. Then have been known to enter the abdomen and lungs, causing extensive damage.
But if you stay on top of things in the summer, you can enjoy that property without fear. Keep the weeds and grass short, cutting them before they get too large (the foxtail grows at the end of the grass stem). Check your pet daily and pull any weeds or stickers that have attached to the fur. If your pet has long hair, take him to the groomer and get a 'foxtail cut' where they trim down the hair on the feet so that stickers can't attach.
All of these small steps can prevent a lot of cost and headache in the future. Now go out and enjoy the weather!