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I have heard that foxtail can be deadly for dogs if it is inhaled. Please give me all the information that you can about it so that I can protect my hunting dog from coming into contact with it. Also, in which states do you find foxtail? Can you supply me with a picture? Are there other poisonous plants in the hunting fields that we need to be concerned about especially for the states of Iowa and South Dakota? Our golden has several allergies for which I give him monthly allergy shots.

While foxtails are a very common and annoying problem in dogs, very few (I have treated hundreds of foxtail cases with no fatalities) are life threatening. I found a great article written by Patty Mead for the National Vizsla Association fall 1997 Newsletter in conjunction with Dr. Linda Amezcua. It has some great information as well as pictures of foxtails. I found it at Since foxtail is common in the western united states especially in grain fields (it's a wild millet) and road ditches it's very difficult not to expose a hunting dog to the weed. Other plant poisonings are extremely rare in hunting dogs, in all the years I hunted my home state of South Dakota I never saw or heard of one. Probably more danger from being trampled to death by all the pilgrims in the field or getting shot than there is to a poisonous plant.

Dr. Mike

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