If foxtail barley doesn’t grow in your area, you don’t have to worry. Yellow foxtail is native to Eurasia, but is common throughout the western U.S. So when your dog snuffles in the dirt or grass that is loaded with foxtails (or mown foxtail grass), and one foxtail seed (known simply as a foxtail) makes contact with his nose, it’s like to get sniffed into his nasal cavity, where its irritating barbs cause him to sneeze and rub his face on the grown and paw at his nose. The plant can grow up to two feet tall and has a long stem with a feathered, bushy top that resembles a foxtail — hence the name. 1. She is inspired by Cici, her family cat. Given that for years we were told that we don’t have the “bad” foxtail in Wisconsin, it’s rather frightening to see just how much is growing along the road in our immediate area. For example, a foxtail that is picked up between your dog’s toe pads can work up through the fur, into your dog’s skin and, once inside, can continue to move inside your dog’s body. Dogs with long coats are more likely to pick up these annoying hitchhikers. It’s commonly found in the West and Southern United States. Perform any additional tasks (liking a Facebook page, captioning a photo, submitting a story, etc.) Foxtail barley is a wild grass that has wispy ends that resemble the tail of a fox — and are full of tiny seeds that can spell big problems for dogs. SYMPTOMS: Continual licking of the foot or pad, bumpy swelling between the toes, or a small hole. Make sure the photos are labeled and include your name, address and phone number. FIRST AID: If you can see the foxtail, you can try to remove it by hand or by using blunt-tipped tweezers. Protecting your pooch The best way to protect your dog from foxtail barley is to keep him away from long dry grasses. “Because the foxtail is barbed, once it becomes embedded it cannot come out easily,” says Pippa Hutchinson, a clinical companion animal behaviorist. He took the dog to his vet, only to learn that a foxtail awn had attached itself to the inside of the animal’s nasal cavity and needed to be surgically removed. Thank you for your interest in writing for Animal Wellness. We welcome unsolicited articles and story outlines as long as they focus on holistic healing, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. It’s usually grown as … The common weed resembles a fluffy tail, and is a purplish-green colour that turns golden in the fall. But dogs playing in the park or yard, hiking, at a roadside stop; any dog, wherever foxtails live, can develop grass awn migration disease. Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. Please do not send multiple submissions (articles that have been sent to more than one publication) unless you have received confirmation that the story will not be used by another magazine. Please ensure that any health facts or statistics that might appear in your article are accurate and come from an accredited source. Hordeum jubatum, with common names foxtail barley, bobtail barley, squirreltail barley, and intermediate barley, is a perennial plant species in the grass family Poaceae.It occurs wild mainly in northern North America and adjacent northeastern Siberia. You may submit articles either by our online contact form, or by mail to: Animal Wellness Magazine This plant ranges in height from one to three feet tall at maturity. Yes, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter for information on natural health, products, and great deals! Why it’s important to maintain your dog’s walking routine during the…, 4 tips to avoid the emergency vet clinic during the holidays, How Canine Biologics’ nutrition system supports dogs with cancer, Shelters and rescues for senior dogs and cats – an inside…, Supporting joint health as dogs and cats age, DoggyStat rapidly resolves non-infectious canine diarrhea, Boost your dog’s immunity with acupressure. Several companies have come to the rescue with products especially designed to protect a dog’s head and face from foxtail awns. We regret that photos cannot be returned. Her work has been published online and in print. Foxtail weed is ubiquitous in the region and found in yards, sidewalks, parks, open fields and mountain trails — all the places people love to take their pets. Photographs, where applicable, are also encouraged. Foxtail Barley Control in Direct Seeding Systems Foxtail barley (wild barley, Hordeum jubatum) is a shallow-rooted, perennial bunchgrass common to non-cropland areas in Alberta. Learning how to recognize it and where it grows, and taking some simple precautions, will help ensure carefree walks. Winners will be notified by phone or email and winning photos will appear in a future issue of Animal Wellness. This way, you’ll know which areas to steer clear of when walking or hiking with your dog. Answer: There are not a lot of good options here since we lost Atrazine for pasture use. According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program, foxtail barley (the Latin name is Hordeum jubatum) is a native grass that can be found in a range of habitats throughout North America, including pastures and fields as well as ditches, fencerows, and roadsides, and in disturbed moist areas. And in many instances, surgery is required to remove foxtail awns. The foxtail barley is emerging and it’s easy to spot in the roadside medians right now as the feathery tops are a very pale gold against all the green. This plant has the scientific name of Hordeum jubatum or the species can vary depending on which plant you are discussing. It can tolerate heat, salt, dry sites and alkaline soils. “If you feel the behaviors are excessive, go to the vet and get your dog checked.” This is especially important if your dog’s eyes are watering and/or he is rubbing them. Common name(s): Foxtail barley, foxtail Scientific name: Hordeum jubatum Family: Grass family (Poaceae) Reasons for concern: The seed heads of this grass have a needle-like bristle at the tip of each seed called an awn, which can be dangerous for livestock and pets because awns can work their way into the animals’ mouth, nose, eyes, and digestive systems. Just said dog owners should watch for symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, scratching and pain and tend to the dog before the bristles have a chance to get deep into the animal. Hard copy photos must have contact information on the back. A Regina veterinarian cautions that Foxtail barley can be deadly for dogs if bristles of the plant get into their mouth, ears, eyes or paws. Foxtails in Your Dog’s Paws. 5. Livestock can safely graze foxtail barley prior to seed development. Every attempt is made to return photographic material, but it is advised that you keep copies of your images. “Should a dog bite the end off, the rest will remain and work its way up and along an opening such as the nasal or ear canal, or through the skin.”, “The most common foreign body found in the external ear canal of dogs and cats is the grass awn,” concurs Richard G. Harvey, author of Ear Diseases of the Dog and Cat. Please include your name, address and telephone number or email address, along with your animal’s name, sex and age (if known) and a short description of the photo. She also said regular grooming around the ears and paws can prevent the weed from attaching to the dog. You may submit a maximum of two photos of each animal in your home. Prevention of Foxtails in Dogs. Enter full name, email address, and mailing address to qualify. to qualify. However, it is not typically considered a desirable pasture plant because once it forms a seed head it becomes unpalatable or even injurious to livestock. Plant Care. Click here to download the Animal Wellness – Top Health Tips eBook. If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms, check for foxtails or talk to your vet: Feet. Some grasses that produce a foxtail are themselves called "foxtail", also " spear grass ". The wind can cause the seeds to scatter – as can a dog or other animal brushing up against the plant. An email will be sent to you with each new issue that is published. The following information is from email correspondence with Dr. Rod Lym, NDSU Weed Scientist. If you submit an outline for a story, please also send samples of your work. Ears. Foxtails are often found on wild barley grass. Foxtails are nasty, and you need to check your dog for their presence after a walk, especially if you notice this somewhat innocuous looking plant. How to Prevent Foxtails From Injuring Your Dog. Foxtail barley is an attractive short-lived native perennial cool season bunchgrass that ranges in height from one to three feet tall. The animals will try to avoid it in favor of more palatable species, giving foxtail barley a competitive advantage and thus a chance to overspread the entire pasture over time. Before submitting to Animal Wellness, we ask that you familiarize yourself with our publication so that you have a strong sense of the type of articles we publish. A brief biographical sketch of yourself is also recommended. FOXTAILS ARE THE MOST COMMON FOREIGN BODY EXTRACTION IN DOGS AND CATS! Maria Just says Foxtail barley can be deadly for dogs if bristles from the plant get in their mouth, ears, eyes or paws. 3. Though foxtail barley is a pervasive problem, it doesn’t mean you have to give up rambling through the countryside with your dog. The Foxtail awn then starts to borrow into your dog, depending on where it entered from. After flowering, the grass gets dry and brown, allowing the seed heads to detach easily. Easy-to-care for and teeming with design opportunity, foxtail grass, also known as Pennisetum alopecuroides or "fountain grass," is the perfect plant for both beginners and seasoned green thumbs looking to liven up their yards. These barbs cause a lot of discomfort, and if they get lodged in deep, surgery is often needed to remove them. In a blog from 2011, the LA Times reported that the emergency room of an animal hospital in northern California sees 60 to 90 cases a month during foxtail seed season. But given how widespread it is, it’s wise to be on the lookout for it no matter where you live, especially if you live or walk in the country. For embedded foxtails, soaking the paw (plain, warm water, … Grazing this plant after it produces seeds can cause a number of problems for animals. [gravityform id=”15″ title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”true”]. Our turnaround response time for submissions is four weeks. Interested in a print subscription? Foxtail grass is common in Alberta and has sharp, barbed seeds that can become lodged in paws, ears and in dogs’ skin. If foxtails grow in your yard, make plans to remove them or call a … Foxtail barley. Consider topics you know well and/or that will offer special interest and appeal to our readers. If possible, try to keep your dog’s hair short, particularly around his toes, feet and armpits. Unfortunately, they do the same thing if they get on your dog’s skin, or get snuffed up, ingested or land in his ears. foxtail barley This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. The seeds don’t break down inside your pet’s body either, causing serious infection and even death if left without treatment. It is often a serious problem in spring seeded alfalfa and in … TREATMENT: The vet will anesthetize the dog and remove any foxtails. They can become a health hazard for dogs and other domestic animals, and a nuisance for people. These bristles easily penetrate flesh, are kept there by the barbs, and can become embedded in the tongue and gums of livestock. This is how the grass spreads as the seed slowly works its way deeper and deeper into soil and becomes lodged when the barb-like spines set in place. Check your dog’s coat and face after every outing in or near areas of long grass. When in flower and fruit, the whole plant takes on a windswept look. Foxtail barley can germinate in the spring or fall (depending on where you live), says North Dakota State University Weed Science. Articles may range in length from 500 to 1,500 words. CAN: 202-160 Charlotte St., Peterborough, ON K9J 2T8. Do not, however, send book-length manuscripts. Foxtail Free Home Page. There are a few ways you can avoid foxtails and keep your dog safe. Common places to find foxtail barley include: pastures, roadsides, meadows, moist soils and disturbed areas throughout Michigan. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, FAX number and/or e-mail address on your manuscript. “In the US, the most common species of plant awn is Hordeum jubatum.”. Definitely not dog-friendly, this tall feathery grass develops seed heads with tiny barbs that can attach themselves to your dog’s coat and work their way into his skin, paw pads, ear canals and nasal cavities. Pet owners are being warned by Ruidoso dog enthusiasts that a common weed growing in the area called Foxtail can be painful and even deadly to … US: 6834 S. University Blvd. Consider a trim for the summer to reduce the likelihood of attachment. Sporting dog owners may know it best since field dogs routinely charge into thick brush, where they easily inhale or swallow foxtails, and spend hours in grassy hotspots. Foxtails are one type of wild barley seed,but not the only one. In some rare cases, she added, the plant can also get into a dog's organs, such as the lungs or heart. 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