Foxtail barley dangerous to dogs, veterinarian warns
A veterinarian in Regina is warning pet owners of a weed that can be dangerous to dogs.
Maria Just says Foxtail barley can be deadly for dogs if bristles from the plant get in their mouth, ears, eyes or paws.
The common weed resembles a fluffy tail, and is a purplish-green colour that turns golden in the fall. Its seeds have long bristles that can get embedded.
In some rare cases, she added, the plant can also get into a dog's organs, such as the lungs or heart.
"They can advance into the internal organs, for example from a wound," Just said. "In general, 99 per cent of the time it's going to be an infection. Something painful, a wound, but eventually it will heal."
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.
"Anything that ... is hurting to them, that is itchy, or is swollen or red, or oozing," she said. "It's important to investigate what is going on."
She also said regular grooming around the ears and paws can prevent the weed from attaching to the dog.