Foxtail Fiasco

Yesterday started out like any other day. Cabana and I went for a morning walk around SB Lake. At the midway point, Cabana was on her flexi leash and stopped to sniff a clump of weeds. She suddenly had a violent attack of sneezing, sneezing repeatedly and so hard that she hit her nose on the gravel path, causing her nose to bleed.

A woman who was passing by said that Cabana must have gotten a dreaded foxtail seed in her nose. Cabana stopped sneezing for a minute to wag her tail and say hello to the woman. Even when in discomfort, Cabana is still happy to meet a new person! Unfortunately, she also bled all over the woman's shoe.

After a few minutes, the sneezing stopped, and we were able to make it back to the car. Cabana had a few more intermittent sneezing and huffing episodes on the way home, so I called the vet and took the first appointment they had available.

a bloody foxtail seed about one inch long with sharp feathery shards, put on a paper plate next ot a dime to show relative sizeThis little bloody shard is the offending seed. How can something so prevalent cause so much trouble! These little seeds are everywhere around here! Poor Cabana had to be sedated, then the vet put a little camera up her nose to find the foxtail seed. I was so thankful that they were able to find it and get it out. I worried that it might have travelled too far up her nasal cavity and that they would either not be able to see it or not be able to reach it. Then, Cabana would have been in further discomfort with no remedy, not to mention that I'd be paying an expensive vet bill for nothing.

cabana's head laying on her bed in the backseat of our car, her nose has some bloody discharge, and there's a little imprint of blood on the side of the dog bed, her eyes and undereyes are goopy and shinyThe vet said I needed to leave Cabana there for a few hours, so she called me when Cabana was coming out of sedation. I went immediately to pick her up, and she looked so sad and pathetic when they brought her out to me! She was walking a bit drunkenly, since she was still under the effects of sedation. They had put goopy stuff on her eyes to keep them from drying out, which made her look even sadder. And her nose was bloody from all the poking and prodding.

goopy eyed cabana licking peanut butter and pill off a purple plastic spoonFor dinner, the vet instructed us to only give Cabana about half of her usual amount, since she might be likely to vomit. She will also need antibiotics for the next week--which is actually a perk since she gets to take her medicine with a teaspoon of peanut butter. Cabana has never had straight peanut butter before, so she enjoyed that immensely.

But all evening long, Cabana whined miserably and paced, so I know she must have been in pain. At 10:00, though, she settled onto her ottoman bed and went to sleep all night. This morning, she seems to be much better, and she got to have her peanut butter/medicine again.

Sigh. I was so mad at myself for letting Cabana sniff in those weeds. But I didn't even see any foxtails in that clump (the wind must have blown the seed there), so that means we'll have to avoid tall grass and weeds all together. No more favorite walking paths during the spring and summer, while the grasses and weeds are high and dry. We'll stick to the paved sidewalks and manicured grass for a while.

Rebecca, Ely and Rocky  – (April 22, 2010 at 8:18 AM)  

Poor Cabana! That sounds very painful. Peanut Butter is the best thing in the world. Ely gets it several times a day when he takes his allergy meds. I hope Cabana feels all better!

Erin and GuidePupPompei  – (April 22, 2010 at 8:42 AM)  

YeeOUCH!!!!!!!! Glad they were able to find it!!!!!

Becky  – (April 22, 2010 at 8:54 AM)  

Oh Cabana SO sorry to hear about your 'foxtail fiasco'. Glad you had a good night sleep. Get well soon.

Toby- The dog with a blog  – (April 22, 2010 at 8:56 AM)  

Poor little puppy, feel better soon Cabana!

JackDaddy  – (April 22, 2010 at 9:17 AM)  

Well I have never heard of foxtails! I'm so sorry that Cabana got hold of one. I hope she feels better ASAP!!

Martha G  – (April 22, 2010 at 9:29 AM)  

Poor Cabana! I need to see a foxtail plant. I know we have them here, too, but I don't know what to look for. I hope Cabana feels better very soon!

Heather and Ellie  – (April 22, 2010 at 9:56 AM)  

Poor Cabana!!!
At least it turned out ok....foxtails are VERY nasty things.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (April 22, 2010 at 10:38 AM)  

Here's a link with a good photo of a foxtail and their dried seeds.

The seeds go in easily in one direction but are difficult to pull out in the opposite direction. They are potentially life threatening if left untreated.

Sierra Rose  – (April 22, 2010 at 12:40 PM)  

Oh no!! Cabana, so sorry!
I had to go to the vet too last week for similar...a sneezing fit that kept coming and going...but we were in the yard, where we only have filter fabric..and the vet thought my allergies are kicking in.
In any case, I am sure mom will keep me on a tighter line when around the grasses!!!! Stay well my friend.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

MK  – (April 22, 2010 at 2:35 PM)  

Wow, those sound horrible! Poor Cabana! So glad the vets were able to get that nasty seed out and after a night's rest she feels so much better. Yikes, I hope we don't have those around here.

Lauren and Don  – (April 22, 2010 at 4:50 PM)  

Poor Cabana! Those foxtails can be really bad- I need to remember to look out for them.

Hope she feels better soon.

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta  – (April 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM)  

Poor Cabana. That doesn't sound fun. Glad you are feeling much better now.

Bethany  – (April 22, 2010 at 5:12 PM)  

Poor Cabana!!! I hope your nose feels better soon! :(

L^2  – (April 22, 2010 at 6:10 PM)  

Ouch! Poor puppy. Glad they were able to get it out.

Emily and the Labradors  – (April 22, 2010 at 8:48 PM)  

Oh my! Poor girl! Glad they got it out so quickly... less observant owners often get their dogs (and their bank accounts) in considerably more trouble when the foxtails work their way in further, causing all sorts of horrible and (like you said) deadly problems.

With that said, I secretly enjoy "weed seed" season around here at the vet clinic where I work... nothing more satisfying than watching the vet go into some orifice and pulling out a weed seed! Or 10 (usually from ears)! One had even worked its way up between the pads of the dog's foot, requiring a small exploratory surgery to remove it (she estimated it had been there for a few months). The vet had a hunch, but until she was in there she had no idea what was causing the problem.

Sarah and Vance  – (April 22, 2010 at 10:33 PM)  

Oh Geez! I had no idea those could do that, thank goodness that woman was there. Glad everything is okay and it isn't more serious

Lacey  – (April 23, 2010 at 12:06 AM)  

At least you knew it happened and took care of it right away. Working at vets office in a rural community for several years, I saw lots of dogs with severe infections and abcesses caused by foxtails their ownners hadn't realized were there. I agree with Emily though- its super satisfying to go in there and get them. Life's all about finding pleasure in the things we have to deal with and can't change, right?

Erie can only train for about another month before we have to put off field work, for the most part, until the fall. She'll get a break while we wait out foxtail season.

Glad to hear Cabana is doing better. She is such a cute girl!

Carrie and Waffle  – (April 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM)  

poor baby she looks so miserable, extra lovin' always hits the spot, just like peanut butter. Get well soon.

Kari in WeHo  – (April 26, 2010 at 7:00 PM)  

Foxtails are terrible terrible things!

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