You Probably See Foxtail Grass Daily, But Did You Know Foxtail Can Kill Your Dog?

You know to keep your dog away from chocolate, onions, and skunks. But there are a number of threats to your dog that you may not even know about. One of these looks totally innocuous and innocent, but it can actually cause terrible problems, even death. That innocuous threat is Foxtail grass.

Where Is Foxtail Grass?

Foxtail grass flourishes in all but 7 states (Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia), and can be found just about anywhere you find grass. It looks innocent, even pretty in a lot of ways, but it is one of the worst things your dog can get into.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Archive Team

Why Is Foxtail Grass So Bad For Your Dog?

The seeds of the foxtail are easily disturbed and can be inhaled by your pup, or work its way into their ears, feet, and mouth. The seeds don’t look like much, but their barbs make them deadly.

Foxtail seeds are barbed, allowing them to burrow, and trying to remove them is near impossible. If you run your finger against the grain on a seed, you will feel how vicious and effective the hooks are. When a seed begins to burrow, it does not stop unless it hits something it can’t move through, such as bone, or until it works its way out of the skin. This leaves a hollow trail from entry to exit that is unbelievably difficult to repair. Seeds have been known to burrow into a dogs brain through the nasal passages, and to puncture organs in their ceaseless journey.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Raita Futo

Signs Your Dog Ingested Foxtail Grass

If your dog begins to sneeze constantly and violently, it can be a sign that your pup inhaled some seeds. Vomiting or painful coughing can be an indication that they swallowed seeds and are trying to dislodge them.

Seeds can also make their way into ears, genitalia, and eyes. If you see your dog constantly licking or scratching any of those areas, or see redness and discharge from their eyes, be sure to take them to your vet immediately! The seeds can be impossible to remove if they burrow too far in, so the faster you get them to your vet, the better chances they have to remove the offending flora.

Make sure to keep an eye out for Foxtail grass when you’re out walking this summer, and make sure to keep your loved one out of it at all costs! Help others protect their pets by sharing this information as much as possible. You never know when it could save a dog.

Foxtail Grass Scientific Name

Foxtails are to be feared so you want to do more research. The scientific name of Foxtail Grass is Alopecurus.

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