Site logo

What To Do If Your Pet Steps On Foxtails


Foxtails are a type of grass that produce sharp and barbed seeds. These seeds can cause harm to pets when they get caught in their fur, especially for pets with long hair or fluffy coats. If left untreated, foxtails can cause serious infections and even lead to death. It is important for pet owners to know what to do if their pet steps on foxtails. 

Signs that your pet has stepped on foxtails 

The most common signs of a foxtail injury in pets include: 

  • Limping or difficulty walking 
  • Constant licking or biting at a certain area 
  • Swelling and redness around the affected area 
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes (if the foxtail is lodged in these areas) 

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to examine your pet’s fur and feet for any visible signs of a foxtail. If you are unable to locate the foxtail or if your pet is exhibiting severe symptoms, it is best to seek immediate veterinary care. 

Steps to remove foxtails yourself or by a professional emergency veterinarian 

If you are able to locate the foxtail in your pet’s fur, carefully remove it using tweezers. Make sure to grab the base of the foxtail and pull it out gently but firmly. Be careful not to break the foxtail, as this can cause it to become lodged deeper in your pet’s skin. 

If the foxtail is deeply embedded in your pet’s fur or if there are multiple foxtails present, it is best to leave their removal to a professional veterinarian. Attempting to remove them yourself may cause further harm and discomfort to your pet. 

Once at the veterinarian, they will likely use specialized tools and techniques to safely remove the foxtail from your pet’s nose, ears, or eyes. Depending on the severity of the situation, sedation may be necessary for the procedure. 

After the foxtail has been removed, your veterinarian may also prescribe medication or recommend further treatment to prevent infection and promote healing.