Why are Foxtails a Danger to Your Pet?

Foxtails are a threat to pet health. Exercise outdoor pet safety when hiking with pets or playing outside with pets.Foxtails… The name conjures up images of soft, fluffy plants that seem pretty harmless, right? Actually, wrong! Foxtails, rye grass, gamma grass, cheatgrass and other common members of this plant family are well known for the injuries they can inflict on pets. So, what are these formidable foes and why should your pet avoid them in the great outdoors?

Redwood Veterinary Hospital is here to help!

What are Foxtails?

Foxtails are a grass-like plant (considered a weed by many) in the genus Hordeum. As its name implies, foxtails have a fuzzy end that resembles a fox tail. This genus also includes other spikelets, like cheatgrass, barley, millet, and rye. These grasses contain a tiny barb or awn that allows them to attach to anything going by, including your pet. This mechanism also contains an enzyme that helps the awn propagate by burrowing into its host. Continue…