Health & Care

Not Your Regular Foxtail

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Photo By: Adalie Keobounheuang

Photo By: Adalie Keobounheuang

I’m not talking about the cute foxtails that blow in the wind behind the animal we all know of. No. Foxtails are those pokey weeds that grow in big bundles. They look pretty, but be very cautious when you’re walking wth your pet.



It wasn’t until recently we found out what foxtails are and why pet owners should try their very best to avoid them. When you look very closely, you can see that they look and feel rough. 

Photo By: Adalie Keobounheuang

Not only can they cut and injure your pet but if you have a pet with long hair, they’ll get stuck on anything they can latch onto. My husband and I took care of a large poodle recently named Ripley. We had a couple of foxtails in our front yard and Ripely came inside with some stuck to her fur. It can be quite annoying if your pet walks through a field of fox tails because they’ll lock themselves in the fur real good. 

Photo By: Adalie Keobounheuang


As I mentioned previously, we recently learned that the foxtails in our back yard and front yard could be the main cause to our English Bulldogs paws. 

Photo By: Adalie Keobounheuang

Now this is a picture of his paws in a better state then before. With proper attention and care, the cuts caused by foxtails can be healed. My dogs paws are an example of what can happen if a small cut is ignored. That’s the ugly truth.



Foxtails can be found all over the world. The grass is most commonly found in the Western United States. And where is the greatest foxtail problem occurring in? California! I’m from Oakland, California and we see these everywhere that isn’t maintained. The grass most often takes over land that isn’t cared for. Sometimes, they’re even located where land is taken care of but they make sure to maintain the main trail where visitors walk.


If you look closely at the picture below, you can see that the main trail is pretty safe. If you look to the sides of the picture, there’s many weeds. The reason the dogs are leashed in the picture is to ensure their safety by being able to control where they step.

Photo By: Adalie Keobounheuang


Foxtail in dogs symptoms include:

  • Sneezing excessively if it is in the dog’s nose
  • Shaking of the head vigorously if found in the ear
  • Lumps sensitive to touch
  • Constantly pawing at the eyes
  • Abscesses
  • Discharge around the area
  • And a bacterial infection

Photo By: Adalie Keobounheuang


In most cases, there is no treatment needed for foxtails. Once the foxtail or foxtails have been removed, that’s pretty much it. However, if infection occurs, treatment with antibiotics is a great way to go. Once the foxtail is removed, any and all symptoms tend to go away within two to four days. If your dog continues to show symptoms after the removal, please follow up with your veterinarian. They will be able to determine how to proceed and how to properly heal any wound, or wounds.





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  1. Joe

    Wow! I definitely didn’t know they were so dangerous. I’ll make sure to stay away from them!

    • Adalie Keobounheuang

      Please do! They can be tricky little suckers.

  2. Alyson

    Thanks for the info! I’ll certainly watch out for these nasty things!

    • Adalie Keobounheuang

      Hi Alyson,
      Yes, please do. =]

  3. Sierra

    My dog ran through these and was covered . Be careful taking them out . Definitely call your vet if you see symptoms.

    • Adalie Keobounheuang

      Hi Sierra,
      A vet is a great place to get these nasty little things carefully and properly taken out.

  4. Ryan

    These run rampant in NOCAL. Stay clear if possible.

    • Adalie Keobounheuang

      Thanks for the info Ryan!

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