Even though running through a grass field is something dogs absolutely adore to do, doctors are now warning about some grass types that could even have lethal consequences. Long foxtail grass carries dangerous seeds that can easily penetrate the skin of your dog. Pups can also ingest the seeds. While they seem harmless, the seeds are actually extremely dangerous.
When the seeds get deeper, they can cause severe injuries.
It starts with a slight stinging pain, but the foxtail seeds can even cause tissue damage and infections. Alarmingly, the seeds can penetrate just about anywhere. You’ll often find them in the paws or in the fur, but they can even enter via the ear canal too. Definitely check common places such as the stomach and the nose as well.
Dogs who inhale or ingest the seeds are in the most peril, as their chances of survival are low.
“The danger of foxtails goes beyond simple irritation. Because these tough seeds don’t break down inside the body, an embedded foxtail can lead to serious infection for your dog. It can even lead to death if left untreated. The seeds can be hard to find in your dog’s fur,” WebMD states.
The symptoms can vary. A sneezing dog can be an indication that a foxtail has penetrated the nose, and keep an eye out for bacterial infections, strange skin spots or lumps, and abscesses. A dog that is extremely shaking with its head can also be an indication of foxtail seeds.
Furthermore, it’s incredibly difficult to treat a dog with this condition. The seed awns are meant to penetrate further into the ground, but they go deeper inside the dog’s skin as well.
“The risk of a dog dying could develop if they inhale or swallow a grass seed and it gets lodged somewhere that is extremely difficult to treat, such as the lungs or abdomen, meaning an abscess may potentially develop,” the junior vice president of the British Veterinary Association, Gudrun Ravetz said.
The severity of the resulting infection or the potential abscess is what can place owners in the position of their dog undergoing difficult surgery or euthanasia.
This isn’t a new problem, but owners should be aware of the issues grass seeds can cause if not treated.”
In short, be wary of grass fields that are noticeably overgrown and haven’t been maintained such as vacant places, open fields, and mountain trails. The grass-like weed is mostly found in the Western half of the United States, and due to the recent weather in the United Kingdom, you’re likely to find foxtail over there as well.
If you suspect that your pup has a foxtail seed or if you recognize one of the symptoms, immediately consult a veterinarian.
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