Protecting Your Pets from Foxtails - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Protecting Your Pets from Foxtails

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Six weeks after surgery and Sharon's dog Grace is finally getting back to her old self. She's wearing a new mask though. It's called Outfox and is designed to keep harmful weeds away from your pet's face. It's lightweight, and still allows your dog to get drinks of water if need be. It will cost you about fifty dollars and can be found online or at a local store in Reno called Scraps Dog Company. Grace's medical bills cost around $10,000. 

"Worst case I ever had was one that a dog actually swallowed it and migrated to its spine and paralyzed the dog until surgery. So it can be life threatening," said veterinarian Brad Lingenfelter. 

Grace likely ingested a Foxtail, which became infected and created an abscess in her chest cavity. She's got the scars to prove it.  Dr. Lingenfelter says he says he sees anywhere between 50 to 100 cases of Foxtail instances a year. 

"The groomer said he found some underneath his arms. So  I was kind of concerned about that," said dog owner Gene Whited. 

You can find Foxtail just about anywhere this time of year. They have a pointed feather top and look like an arrow. You can find hundreds of them in a field alone. They can also be found along sidewalks and can blow into your backyard as well. 

"The other thing they get into is their eyes and causes ulcers in the eyes which we've done a few of these," added Dr. Lingenfelter. 

They can get them in their paws and ears too. Symptoms are usually soreness or if they've been swallowed they may have trouble eating. Grace's owners don't want to take anymore chances. Which is why Grace now wears a mask when playing outside. Dr. Lingenfelter says even with a mask, the best thing you can do is avoid areas with a lot of weeds and look your pet over after being outside. Keeping your dogs fur short can help too. Whited's dog Barney gets Foxtails in his beard a lot. 

"He means a lot to us, he's like our kid almost," said Whited. 

The more safe your pets are the better. 

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