Many Bay Area pet owners are not aware that from about April until after the first rains in autumn, their dogs and cats are exposed to the danger of foxtails and the barbed seeds of wild grasses.
Nature designed the foxtail to burrow its way into the earth - and burrow is what they do when they make contact with your pet. They work their way into any body opening, including ears and eyes, and can also penetrate the skin, especially between the toes and in the armpit. They can also be inhaled into the nostrils or become lodged in the teeth and jaws, causing abscesses and serious infections.
If your dog or cat exhibits any of the following symptoms, don't wait to see whether they go away! If it's caused by a foxtail, the problem will only get worse. Get your pet to a veterinarian right away.
A few things to watch for:
If you suspect your pet might be suffering from these barbed seeds, get professional help immediately. Leaving foxtail penetrations untreated can lead to complicated surgery or the death of your pet.