Every pet parent loves to see their dog run in grass. However, there are some wild grasses with seed awns that are extremely dangerous to dogs. Now is the time of year to be vigilant – your dog’s life may depend on it. Please check your pups carefully after every romp in the field.
The following article, Foxtail Grass Can Kill Your Dogs, provides helpful tips and signs to watch for:
[excerpt] The awns on foxtails are barbed, razor-sharp needles, designed to burrow into the ground with the seed. However, they can also burrow through a dog’s skin and enter soft tissue where they can cause serious injury, infection and even death.
Foxtails are found most often on wild barley grasses and grow to be 2 to 5 feet in height and have a top with hairlike needles that ressemble a fox’s tail. In some varieties the spikelets (top) look like common barley or rye grass.
Foxtails torpedo-shaped awns are like bullets and can penetrate any part of a dog’s body. The awns most commonly lodge in a dog’s nose, ears, underbelly, rear end and paws. Long-haired dogs are particularly susceptible, as the barbed foxtail stays attached to the dog’s long fur and are difficult to spot.