What To Do If Dog Ate Foxtail? Find The Right Answer

What to do if dog ate foxtail when you know the danger of these grass awns? You can identify if your dog swallowed them through obvious signs, such as foxtail in the dog’s mouth, eyes, ears, or nose.

When you are sure that your dog ate foxtails, quickly find the proper treatments to protect your pet from the serious effects of this grass.

Read on for useful information to know what to do when you think that your pet ate foxtail and got injuries from this grass.

What To Do If Dog Ate Foxtail? 

what to do if dog ate foxtail
Dog Ate Foxtail

My dog ate a foxtail, what do I do? 

First, determine whether your dog swallowed foxtail. Double-check the dog’s mouth to see if the foxtail is inside, do some first aid, and contact your vet to give your pet the best and safest treatment.

Lastly, spending the time and space for your dog to rest to recover faster after the injuries from foxtail is necessary.

Check The Symptoms To Determine If Your Dog Ate Foxtail

The first important thing you should do after your dog swallowed foxtail is check any signs telling you about the presence of foxtail in your pet.

There are various symptoms of this problem you shouldn’t ignore.

You might spot the foxtail in your dog’s nose or mouth. Besides, keep an eye on some common signs of your pup, such as gagging, hacking, or being hard to swallow when drinking or eating.

All these pointers can prove that your pet ate foxtail, so you need first aid to reduce the additional risks of this grass.

If you do nothing in this case, the foxtail can cause dangerous damage to the throat, the tongue, and periodontal pockets, leading to periodontal disease and serious infection in the lung if it goes into this organ.

Check Your Dog’s Mouth

Besides checking the visible symptoms, you must inspect your dog’s mouth to see whether foxtail exists. This is essential and obvious to tell you if your pup ate this grass.

See a Vet For the Best And Fastest Treatment

After you do first aid for your dog, like removing the grass on the nose or mouth, to avoid the more severe risks of foxtails, take it to see a vet for the best and fastest treatment.

The sharp foxtail in dogs throat will lodge in any parts along the gastrointestinal tract and cause chronic bacterial infection, serious tissue damage, or death.

When your puppies accidentally swallow a foxtail by licking it out of its fur or intentionally eat any wild grasses outdoors, take it to the vet immediately for fast and safe treatment.

Like when the dog eats a part of a blanket, the veterinarian anesthetizes your pup and removes the foxtail from its mouth or throat.

Besides, your vet can examine your pet’s throat and mouth for foxtail awns signs. If these awns do not appear using X-rays, your vet will ask for further exploratory surgery to remove them from your dog.

Also, your pup can get more antibiotics if it gets infections from foxtail, as per your vet’s advice.

Allow Your Dog To Take A Rest

When your pup has passed the surgery or treatment from your vet, it can feel tired. Thus, give your pet time and space for rest to help it recover better from the injuries the awns caused.

Why Does Your Dog Eat Foxtail?

my dog ate a foxtail what do i do
What The Causes Of Dog Eat Foxtail

Being omnivores, your dog can eat vegetables, including outdoor grasses, wild plants, and even a baby bunny.

Also, your pup can easily eat grasses such as foxtail awns to stimulate vomiting when they have an upset stomach, while others like the grass’s taste.

Eating these awns is sometimes a simple way for your dog to get additional fiber from the plants outdoors.

In addition, your dog eats non-food items like foxtails to satisfy its strange addiction or suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

How To Tell If Your Dog Ate Foxtail?

The swallowed or digested foxtail awns often get stuck in the dog’s throats or mouths.

You can see if your dog ate a foxtail through typical symptoms, including gagging, coughing, lumps on the dog’s neck, or mouth swelling after these parts get an infection. 

Diagnosis of foxtail eating of your pup can use an X-ray to scan the affected areas such as the neck, head, chest, or the lesion.

A visual examination or inspection of possible lesions or infected areas will help you identify if your dog ate foxtails. Or, you can apply an ultrasound on affected areas to check.

How Dangerous Is Foxtail To Your Dog?

The sharp points may get caught in your dog’s paws, skin, ears, nose, eyes, mouth, or throat and trigger severe infections.

One of the more dangerous risks of dog eating foxtails is that these foxtail awns can perforate the pet’s intestine or lead to a serious disease causing an abscess.

Plus, foxtails may enter the nostrils, mouth, eyes, or ears and into a dog’s lungs, along the spine, and even other organs in the body. The danger of these awns can go beyond normal irritation.

More seriously, embedded foxtails will cause abscesses, pain, oral swelling, severe infections in your dogs, and even death.

These awns can move through various parts of your dog’s body, from its mouth and nose to its brain and lungs.

What Should You Do To Protect Your Dog From Foxtails?

my dog ate foxtails
Protect Your Dog From Foxtails

Below are several ways to help dogs eating foxtails eliminate the risks of consuming these awns. You may choose organic or chemical methods to get rid of these awns.

First, use pre-emergent herbicide treatment to prevent the foxtail’s growth. This is a reliable chemical method obstructing the spread of these awns.

You can apply this approach before the foxtail weeds emerge, especially in the early growing season.

Aside from the chemical method, you can get manual labor to remove these awns. The sooner you catch millet weeds, the easier you may uproot them and stop them from spreading.

Another way is using mulch as a preventive measure for where the foxtails can spread or grow.

Cut these foxtails to the stem, apply a thick mulching layer, and wait for this layer to block enough water and sunlight to suffocate these awns.

Also, you can try vinegar, another DIY method to remove these weeds. Use the vinegar with 5% acetic acid and apply it close to the foxtail’s roots until completely wet.

This is one of the best and safest methods to prevent new awns from developing.


Can a Dog Pass a Foxtail?

No, it can not. If a dog comes into contact with these awns, it is more likely to have insidious plant parts inside its body, especially its nose, throat, mouth, ear, or toes.

Thus, it can get sick at various degrees, depending on the part of the body that has awns and the damage amount they cause.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Foxtail From Your Dog?

The removal cost is about $150 if your veterinarian doesn’t have to take a surgery. However, suppose you wait about one or two days before taking your pup to the veterinarian.

In that case, the foxtail awns migrate up the canal and require a veterinarian to surgically remove the foxtail, which costs about $500 to $1,000.


With the above useful information and ultimate guide, you’ve learned what to do if dog ate foxtail.

First, you must pay attention to the common symptoms that help you determine if your pup swallowed the foxtail awns, especially in the dog’s mouth.

After checking and knowing that your pet ate these awns, give it first aid to prevent further damage of the foxtail to other organs. After this step, immediately take your pup to a vet.

Note that you need to allow your pet to rest to recover better from the injuries caused by foxtails.

The simplest way to help your dog eliminate eating foxtails is using standard methods, including organic and chemical measures, to remove these awns or hinder their growth and spreading.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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