A reader has alerted us to batches of foxtail on Queen Anne that can cause problems for dogs. She even sent us the accompanying photos so you can see where Foxtail is along Queen Anne Ave N – and be able to identify it on neighboring streets as well.
According to WebMD.com:
“Foxtail plants can be risky for your dog. The barbed seed heads of the foxtail plant can work their way into any part of your dog or cat, from the nose to between the toes and inside the ears, eyes, and mouth. They can even simply dig themselves directly into a patch of skin.
The danger of foxtails goes beyond simple irritation. Because these tough seeds don’t break down inside the body, an embedded foxtail can lead to serious infection for your dog. It can even lead to death if left untreated. The seeds can be hard to find in your dog’s fur.”
The reader who wrote in has her own story with foxtail. Her dog got a foxtail barb in his ear several years ago, sending him to emergency vet to have it removed under anesthesia.
Note that the patches of Foxtail tend to crop up in unkempt parking strips. The photos show that several businesses have patches of it in front of their storefronts.
Perhaps the businesses are unaware of the danger to our 4-legged friends, and if they were aware, would have the foxtail removed.
You can read more about keeping your dog safe from foxtail online – but really, the best prevention is to avoid it. Sadly, it’s hard to avoid it when it’s cropping up along some of our busiest streets.
Watch out for it as you walk your dog along Queen Anne Ave N and keep an eye out for it in the neighborhood.