Grass Heads (Foxtails?) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Grass Heads (Foxtails?)

I don't know if these are technically "foxtails" or not, but they are dry grass heads, and hundreds of the awful things have burrowed into poor Mia's coat. Some have even already started to cause sores. None of my other dogs have any, and they all walk the same places, so it's something about her coat type (she's my only GSD).

How on Earth do I get these awful things out of her fur? I've tried a comb, slicker and pin brush and nothing is working. I'm pulling them all out with my fingers, but it's taking forever and she really hates it.

Is there a better tool or a better method?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 09:43 PM
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Re: Grass Heads (Foxtails?)

Try using baby oil.
When the horses use to get into burdock, I would rub the area with baby oil, then use the comb. Works pretty easily.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 10:53 PM
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Re: Grass Heads (Foxtails?)

Try cornstarch. If they are fox tails be sure to check other dogs between toes, in arm pits as well as everywhere else. Very nasty things.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Grass Heads (Foxtails?)

Thanks for the input.

I've never seen anything like these things. I picked at her for hours, and a friend and I still found dozens more today. She even has a good sized weeping sore in one "underarm."

These are just little grass heads -- maybe 1/4 to 1/3 inch long, but they've caused a lot of damage over a wide area of skin. Tomorrow I'm shaving her whole underside so I can keep it clean and dry and clear up any infection.

I might be over reacting, but I feel I should warn people. If you live anywhere where there are dry wild grasses, please dig your fingers into your dog's coat and check thoroughly every couple of days. These things could quickly and easily lead to serious infections and even abscesses. I've never seen anything like it.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 02:36 PM
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Re: Grass Heads (Foxtails?)

Your not over reacting, foxtail's are nasty little things. They just work their way right into the skin. With shepherds this isn't as big a problem because of their hight but I have know dogs who end up with them down their ear canal.
I have worked really hard to keep the foxtails out of our yard, not easy to do when thats all thats in our neighbors back yard. Then there is my parents property; they have a field with a lot of them in it. When I am brushing my dogs coat to get foxtails out I find going against the fur works better.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Grass Heads (Foxtails?)

Thanks Stacey. I'm about to bathe her. I'll try brushing against the grain afterward.

I just finished shaving her from chest to anus, during which I found another oozing sore and dozens more foxtails. The things seem scientifically designed to avoid detection while wreaking as much damage as possible. I'd rather pick out cholla cactus. At least you can see and feel it in her coat!

There should be public service announcements on TV, and signs in every vet's office!
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