First of all, what is foxtail? This is spikelet in the lack of a better word. It will carry the seeds of the plant and lodge in the soil. This is natural. The problem is if it comes in contact with your dog. It can cause massive damage. It can kill him as well. How long does it take for a foxtail to kill a dog? Let’s start with the basics and then answer the main question here.
Can Foxtail Kill A Dog?
Sadly, the answer is yes. This can happen but it is not very common. Foxtail has very sharp edges that can penetrate the skin. A dog can swallow the foxtail in which case even more severe issues may occur. How long does it take for a foxtail to kill a dog? Foxtail can kill a dog within 24 hours!
This is possible if he swallows the foxtail and it reaches his lungs, digestive tract, etc. It can cause massive damages to internal organs and cause bleeding, swelling, irritation and so much more. Your dog will be in massive pain as soon as this happens and you need to help him.
All of this is rare and not something that will happen countless times per day. But the risk is there and you need to be careful. Foxtails can come in contact with the skin and fur as well. In these cases, foxtail can cause infection, penetrate the skin and irritate the skin.
Do you know that foxtail can end up in the brain of the dog? Once again, this is a rare case but it can happen. If it happens, pain and death are common!
In most cases, you will have an issue where foxtail is located in the nose or mouth of the dog. This is risky and problematic. It can cause irritation, damage the inner part of the nose, etc. It can end up in the ear as well. In this situation, you are looking at an ear infection that once again, can be severe.
Here’s What You Should Do
If you think or you are positive that your pet ate foxtail or that it is located in his ear, lungs, throat, or mouth you will have to take him to the vet as soon as possible. A vet is able to remove foxtail and save your dog. You can try to do the same thing but this is not something that is easy or simple. It is actually complicated and you need to be professional in order to do it properly.
If you notice some of the following symptoms you will have to take your dog to the vet immediately. These symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
- Eye issues (redness, discharge, or swelling)
- Nose discharge
- Swollen feet
In a nutshell, foxtail has come in contact with the skin or penetrated it. Your dog is in pain and he needs help. Foxtail can cause massive infection and in most cases, a vet will have to remove foxtail surgically. This is not something you can do at home, obviously. Even more severe issue here is that awns can break and start traveling through the body of a dog by themselves. This is one of the reasons why the signs we have here can occur.
Once the foxtail is removed, a vet will prescribe medications to your pet. These are mandatory and they are going to help. Removal is not free but it is not very expensive. The cost will depend on where you remove the foxtail, the process or method used, and the medications.
In addition, foxtails cannot fall out or be removed by a dog. It will stay there and it will probably penetrate the skin even more and cause even more issues. That’s why it is mandatory to do everything you can in order to help your dog.
Yes, you can do a lot of things in order to eliminate the risk of this happening to your dog. The first and the most obvious thing is to avoid walking your pet in an area where foxtail is common. This is actually the most important thing you can do. Foxtail is the most dangerous during the summer so this is the time of the year when you will want to be extremely careful.
If you walk your dog in an area where foxtail is common but not present right now, you have to examine your dog. Once you get home, check his ears, mouth, nose, eyes, armpits, genitals, and feet. If you see one foxtail, you need to watch for the symptoms! Many more can be logged in the fur or the skin. There is no need to tell you that you have to remove all of the foxtails you can find on your dog. This is mandatory.
If you have foxtail in your backyard, now is the time to remove it. This is an extremely dangerous plant for all dogs and cats so you don’t want it near your pets. Removal can be complicated and time-consuming but it is mandatory and something you will have to do eventually.
It would be a smart idea to take your pet to a vet for a check. If you have found one foxtail, the risk is too high.
The Final Word
Can and how long does it take for a foxtail to kill a dog? It can kill an adult dog within one day. In some cases, it will take more time. But, you should prevent this risk and you should help your dog as much as you can. Foxtail is a huge issue nowadays and something that is commonly known as a massive threat! All you can do is to check for the signs of foxtail and take him to the vet if you notice them. Removing foxtail by yourself is possible but not the safest option.