Why Foxtails and Grass Seed Awns are Dangerous to Dogs
Even if you’ve never thought about foxtails, you’ve definitely seen them. You can identify a foxtail by its characteristic spiny shape.
Foxtails are most often found in open areas — hiking trails, along roadsides, in overgrown parks and other open fields — and grow at the top of grass stalks. Foxtails get their name because, well, they look like the tail of a fox, with layers of upward-facing spines protruding from the center.
Foxtails and grass seed awns are designed to do one thing: burrow. This is how the grass spreads as the seed slowly works its way deeper and deeper into soil and becomes lodged when the barb-like spines set in place. And this is why foxtails are such a hazard to dogs.
Due to the unique shape of this seed, it’s always moving forward — never backward. Forward through your dog’s skin. Forward through their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Forward through their lungs. Forward through their paws. And even forward through your dog’s “private swimsuit” areas.