Fox Tails

16 Jul




Certain types of grass seeds, such as fox tails, barley-type awns with spiky, arrow shaped hairs, can become dangerously lodged in your dog or cat’s ear canal or penetrate through the pad of the foot.  This can cause excruciating pain for the animal as the seed can often times work it’s way deeper into the ear canal or up through the limb causing abscesses along the way.  Sometimes they can work their way out, but often times they need to be removed manually by a veterinarian.    This can happen moreso in the summer months as the seeds of the plants become dry and brittle and can adhere to your pet’s coat or pads of their feet easier.

If a seed is lodged in your pet’s ear, you could observe a sudden and extreme irritation of the affected ear.

Your pet may scratch or shake their head violently trying to dislodge the seed.  They could also try to rub their ear with their paws, or even tilt their head to the ground and rub their ear incessantly.  The ear could become red, swollen and painful to touch.  Horses can get foxtails lodged in their mouth or, most commonly, in their lips.




If your pet has a grass seed lodged in the pad of it’s foot you may notice your pet favoring the affected pad, perhaps limping, or licking the area.  After a few days the paw could become red, warm and swollen.  There may be an abscess already forming.  Sometimes, however, it could take weeks before you notice the damage the seed has caused if it is not removed promptly and is traveling up the inside of the leg.

Some holistic healing tips you could use while waiting for veterinarian care;

The homeopathic remedy, Aconite 30C can be used if your pet seems to be in obvious shock, or distress and/or just abnormal behavior.  Dosing every 15 minutes, up to 4-6 doses, until you see improvement.   If the slightest bit of touch causes pain and your pet is crying out, then the remedy Chamomilla 30C would be beneficial.  The remedy Hepar Sulphuris 30C could help if you notice an infection.  Hepar also helps draw an abscess to a head, helping to draw the infection out.  Furthermore, the remedy, Silica 30C or 6C can help bring the seed, or the foreign matter, to the surface.  It is often a successful choice in remedy to use for those instances, however,it can sometimes take up to two weeks or longer for it to surface.  However, my son had a splinter in his finger that I could not remove.  I soaked his finger in an aqueous solution (dissolving the remedy in 3 ounces of water then succcussing it) of Silica, placed a bandaid over the affected area and the next morning the splinter was painlessly expelled out laying on the bandaid pad.

You could also soak the affected limb in epsom salts and warm water.  That can also help draw out the foreign matter as well as help soothe any inflammation.

Homeopathic remedies can be purchased over the counter at any health food store.

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin, D.Vet.Hom, C.N.

Owner of Wellness Matters and Ruby’s Naturals and 

Brenda is a Homeopathic Practitioner, a Veterinary in Homeopathy and Canine Nutritionist.  She has been healing animals as long as she can remember, went to high school for animal science and continued her education throughout her life.  In addition to being  a homeopathic practitioner she developed Ruby’s Naturals,  an all natural pet treat for dogs, cats and horses (or any omnivore or herbivore) which are sold in Whole Foods, local grocery stores, Amazon  or directly online at .  Brenda treats animals and humans locally and globally.

Book an appointment here Wellness Matters or call 803-712-4522 to speak with Brenda directly.

Brenda M. Tobin, D.Vet.Hom, C.N. is neither a licensed veterinarian nor  a medical physician.  She  does not prescribe, diagnose, or treat disease.  Seek the advise of  your medical doctor or veterinarian and inform them that you seeking the advice of a homeopathic practitioner.



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