How Long Does It Take For A Foxtail To Kill A Dog?

There is no fixed time frame for a Foxtail to kill a dog. It all depends on various factors. Foxtails may cause severe damage to the dog within a few hours, while it can take months in others.

This article will explain how long it takes for a foxtail to kill a dog and other important information.

Factors That Can Influence The Time It Takes For A Foxtail To Cause Harm

The size of the foxtail influences how long it takes to injure the dog. Where it enters the dog’s body, the strength of its immune system, and how quickly treatment is sought are all factors.

Common Ways Dogs Get Exposed To Foxtail

Dogs can be exposed to foxtails by walking or running through grassy areas.

Dogs that play in fields or areas with tall grasses and weeds risk getting foxtails stuck in their fur, ears, nose, or eyes. Dogs that hunt birds or retrieve games can quickly come in contact with foxtail because it might be attached to their prey.

How Long Does It Take For A Foxtail To Kill A Dog

Foxtails that are tangled in their fur can get accidentally ingested when they are being groomed. 

Foxtails can also be found along roadsides, and dogs that ride in cars with the windows down can be exposed to them.

Symptoms Of Foxtails Ingestion In Dogs 

Symptoms of foxtail ingestion include breathing difficulties or choking in the dog—constant coughing or gagging. Sneezing or nasal discharge, swelling or discharge around the eyes. It could show in the form of lethargy or loss of appetite and irritation around the mouth or throat.

Vomiting, limping, excessive licking, or scratching of the body are also symptoms you should look out for.

Importance Of Early Detection And Treatment 

Early detection of foxtails in dogs can help prevent potential harm. Foxtails can cause severe harm to the dog’s body if left untreated. Early detection means they get to be treated early. Early treatment can also prevent foxtail exposure infection, abscesses, or other complications.

Possible Dangers Of Foxtails To Dogs 

Possible dangers of foxtails to dogs include infections. Foxtails carry bacteria and other harmful microorganisms that can cause severe infection if they enter the dog’s body.

Foxtails have sharp barded tips that can cause tissue damage, abscesses, swelling, and other painful conditions.

When a dog ingests foxtails, it may injure its mouth, throat, or digestive system, which could lead to internal bleeding.

Foxtails can easily be lodged in a dog’s eyes, causing irritation, inflammation, and sometimes blindness.

Foxtails in the nasal passage can lead to respiratory problems, including difficulty breathing or choking. Foxtails can migrate through a dog’s body, causing harm to multiple organs and systems.

Preventing Foxtail Exposure In Dogs

● Avoid walking or playing in areas with tall grasses and weeds, especially during the foxtail season (late spring to early summer).

● Keep your dog on a leash while you are in potentially dangerous areas so that they do not run off into the bushes or through the thick grass.

● Groom your dog regularly to remove any foxtails or other debris from their fur.

● Inspect your dog’s fur, paws, ears, nose, and eyes after walks or playing in high-risk areas to check for foxtails or signs of exposure.

● Consider trimming your dog’s hair during foxtail season to reduce the risk of foxtails becoming tangled in their fur.

● Cover your dog’s paws and face with protective clothing when you are in high-risk areas.

● Keep car windows closed or use protective screens to prevent foxtails from entering the car during travel.

How Long Does It Take For A Foxtail To Kill A Dog

Tips To Avoid Foxtail Exposure 

● Avoid letting your dog stick their nose or head into bushes or tall grasses where foxtails may be present.

● Be aware of any areas with tall grasses, and avoid them when you take your dogs on strolls.

● Consider getting a vaccine for your dog if you live in areas with a high risk of foxtail exposure.

● If you have multiple dogs, avoid walking them together in high-risk areas, as they may run through tall grasses and expose each other to foxtails.

● If you have any reason to believe that your dog has been exposed to foxtail, the following steps should be taken: keep an eye out for the symptoms of foxtail exposure and seek emergency veterinarian assistance.

Best Practices For Removing Foxtails 

● Firstly, use a comb or brush to remove any visible foxtails from your dog’s fur. Be gentle and avoid pushing the foxtail further into the skin.

● Remove every foxtail with a tweezer or your fingers. Grasp the foxtail as close to the skin as possible and pull it out in the direction it entered. Take care not to break the foxtail or leave any part of it behind.

● If the foxtail is deeply embedded or you cannot remove it, seek veterinary attention. Do not attempt to remove a deeply embedded foxtail yourself, as this can cause further harm to your dog.

● Check the region frequently after removing a foxtail for indications of infection or inflammation, such as redness, swelling, or discharge.

● Whenever you detect one of these symptoms, go to the vet.

● Seek veterinarian care immediately if your dog exhibits any signs of foxtail exposure, such as coughing, sneezing, or pawing at the afflicted region.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are foxtails?

When foxtails, a grass seed, touching a dog’s skin or fur can harm the dog. Foxtails are also known as foxtail grass.

What are the signs of foxtail exposure in dogs?

The signs of foxtail exposure in dogs can include coughing, sneezing, pawing at the affected area, and visible signs of a foxtail, such as a lump or discharge.

Can foxtails be fatal to dogs?

If left untreated, foxtails can be fatal to dogs, as they can cause severe infections and internal damage.


Foxtails can be a danger to dogs. Every dog owner should take steps to prevent exposure. It entails frequently grooming dogs, keeping them on leashes in high-risk areas, and keeping an eye out for symptoms of exposure. Call a vet immediately if you think your dog may have come into contact with foxtails. With proper prevention and early detection, pet owners can help keep their furry friends safe from the potential harm of foxtails.

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