It’s the time of year where various plants and weeds are springing up all over Cochrane. Pet owners are being advised to steer away from foxtails while walking their dogs.

Lisa Kedian, Communications Coordinator for the Cochrane Humane Society explains why you need to stay clear of the plant.

“The foxtail can get caught up in your pet for and usually you can remove them fairly easily, but sometimes the barbed seed head on these plants can work their way into any part of your pet.

“They get stuck in between the toes or sometimes they can ingest them through their nose or mouth, or they get stuck in their eyes or ears. If this happens, this can cause a whole lot of problems for your pet, and we really highly recommend that as soon as you start to see any issues that you contact your vet immediately.”

If a foxtail seed gets embedded in your pet, there are various symptoms to look for depending on which part of their body is in contact with the plant.

Nose - Explosive sneezes and a bloody nose.

Ears - Tilting/shaking of the head, could produce smell/discharge

Ingestion - Coughing, gagging, hacking, and difficulty swallowing food/water.

Eyes - Tears, discharge, and pawing at the face.

Paws - Constant licking of pads, small bumps in between toes.

Under the skin - lumps and hard bumps, small holes on the skin.

“This plant is actually engineered by nature to spread seed, and so when it burrows into your pet, it's actually made to burrow even further in, and that's what becomes a big problem.”

She says that anyone who walks the dogs from the Humane Society is hyper-aware to stay clear of foxtails.

“Our volunteers are just great, great people. They're very aware of what's happening out there and if there are any issues that you know when our dogs come back in from their walks, they report it to us and we're able to look after it right away.”

“Just to steer clear of the plant and any other plants that may be poisonous to your pet as well I just think it's really important if you're a pet owner that you're just aware of the dangers out there.”