Winter is Over - Foxtails Have Arrived!
For anyone not familiar with these barbed grass seeds beware! They go in and don't come back out. Many people associate them with nature trails and weedy empty lots, but any grassy weed can go to seed in sidewalk cracks and even your own backyard. They find their way into dog noses, ears, and between the toes, and they can easily hide in longer fur and work their way into the skin. If left embedded they will become a skin irritant leading to scratching, chewing, licking, and skin infections. Once embedded they are difficult to remove and usually require a trip to the vet to be removed surgically.
What's the solution? Pay attention to where your dog goes, keep your property and surrounding area weed-free, avoid open areas where grassy weeds have gone to seed. Routinely check you dog immediately after any excursions. Be sure to spread his toes and check in between each of them, look down his ears, even up his nose (foxtails are very easy to inhale), and thoroughly check his coat —even smooth-coated dogs can collect a foxtail. If your dog does collect a one, try to remove it immediately. Removal can be tricky since foxtails are barbed and easily travel in one direction only.