Foxtail weeds are dangerous for dogs. That’s why they make a mesh face and ear guard for dogs that venture into the open space on hikes.
My adult child had taken the Chihuahua terrier mix on hikes daily since April. He never had a problem, until the other evening . . .
Suddenly he burst through the door while I was watching some mindless TV while also reading and looking at Facebook. It’s the only way I can stay awake at night – multi-tasking.
“Can you help me?” he asked, panic in his voice.
“Yes,” I said, moving the laptop and taking the ten-pound dog.
“She inhaled a weed. I shouldn’t have stopped to give her a drink.”
He grabbed a flashlight and looked up her nose while I held onto her, but he couldn’t see anything.
“Was it a foxtail?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said. “She was sniffing around while I got the water bowl ready.”
After Googling photos of foxtails, he said, “That’s what it looked like, and then she sneezed a dozen times.”
He called the emergency vet in the next town, but someone picked up and then hung up on him. He called the emergency vet two towns down, but they said they had a 5-6 hour wait.
“Call the first place again,” I said.
He got through. They had no waiting. He dashed off with the dog in his arms.
I texted him, no answer. I watched another episode of The Chair with Sandra Oh on Netflix.
I thought about my friend whose Border Collie got a foxtail in her eye and eventually went blind from it.
“After that, she lost her will to live,” my friend told me.
I texted my son again. This time he answered that he was waiting for pain meds.
When he got home, my son explained how the first vet saw nothing and concluded that the dog had sneezed it out.
My child looked skeptical, so the vet asked the 2nd vet on duty to take a look. It was the holiday weekend, so maybe that’s why they had two vets. The second vet took a look and found it, up in one of the many sinus cavities. She was able to send a tube up there with grippy things to get hold of it.
Anyhoo, it was a $400 lesson.
If you’re going to take your dog into the woods, a mesh face-and-ears mask is a lot cheaper than an emergency trip to the vet on Labor Day weekend.
This is the same dog that only ten days before had ten teeth extracted during the most expensive doggie dental bill of my life.
Violet, you’re a keeper!