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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many of you know that we recently moved to a 26 acre ranch...it was heavenly in the early spring...but soon the foxtails took over and we have been living in a nightmare!
Not only do those danged spears get into their skin, toes and ears, they target eyes and any bodily opening, eyes, anus, vulva and penis!
At this moment I am waiting to hear that my sweet Moyen Poodle, Madison, is finished with her surgery to remove a foxtail that entered her on the side of her pelvis and migrated inside of her groin! I noticed a large cord and a bloody opening. I am so glad that I saw it!
These spears, once they get into a dog, only stop moving when they hit bone. If they don't hit bone, they can migrate through lungs and hearts.
When the foxtail is dry and dogs eat them they can puncture their stomach or intestines.
Anyway, we have had 3 dogs go into surgery to remove foxtails, until now they were on the feet and ears...these weeds are a serious threat, so please check your dogs carefully!
 

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Wow...I was unaware they could do that much damage!
With all the property you now own, is there anything you can do to irradicate them?
Doodle hair and foxtails really don't do good together.
Sorry you are going through this & thanks for the heads up. Hope your pups come out of all of this and are back to normal in no time!
 

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Jac!!

I have never heard of foxtails!! And certainly haven't heard of them getting inside the body of dogs....or any animal. Do we have them in Texas?? I am doing a search on google to see what they look like and whether, or not, we have them....and how to get rid of them!!

Gracious, that is scarry! One more thing to worry about!
How did surgery go?? :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks you guys...I still have not heard from my vet, but he had a full day of surgery and operated on Madison this evening, I am sure he forgot to call...just too tired...but I know that if anything was not right he would have called. Still, I am going to be there bright and early in the morning to get her!

Yes, I think that some form of Foxtails are everywhere...and they are wicked weeds.

If we stay here (we are considering another property) then we will have to plow them under and spray with roundup. It will kill most of the good things too, but we will just have to start over. Still the Foxtails will conintue to come back...we just have to keep on top of it. If we plant regular grass and clover it will eventually crowd the Foxtails out, I think.

It isn't quite so bad when you only have one or two dogs...like looking for ticks, you just check them over carefully every night. But when you have 10 dogs and 9 puppies...it becomes an impossible task. I try to keep up on it, but my poor dogs do get them anyway.

I just bought some tweezers with a light on them, and about 2 dozen regular combs...I hope that it helps me to get the ones that might be starting.

I do worry because my dogs love to eat them! I read where another form of Foxtails are called "gut busters" because cattle eat them and they perforate their stomachs and intestines....horrible weed!

So far, we have spent $250 on Chase, $500 on Gerry and I hate to think what this operation will be...just because of Foxtails...and the worst part is seeing my dogs hurt. :cry:
 

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Oh Jac, I hope your dogs come through okay. What a worry! Hugs!

I would not recommend plowing the foxtails under as you would only plant seeds that will sprout forever! Call your county extension agent for the best advice on ridding them from a large area and keeping them at bay. Is it possible to keep the area mowed? That might be better than applying pesticides which are always a concern with our beloved dogs.
 

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HOLY MOLY!!! Gosh, had no idea, the could do so much damage... hope your dogs will all be ok, and that you find a good efficient way to get rid of the crap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Meg, I'll give them a call!

We have mowed about an acre, the place where the dogs play, but that just makes them shorter! They still continue to mature and seed out...they are very vicious!

It seems like mowing made it worse...they are now loose and blow with the slightest breeze...but we continue to mow and weed-eat them in hopes to get them under control in the one small area at least.

I'll let you know if I discover any way to deal with them...most people tell me to mow or to take it down to the root and spray...even when people don't like the spray, they tell me that Foxtails are so strong and hardy that nothing kills them. Someone said to spray with vinegar, but that they would still come back the next year. UGH! What a mess!

Thanks for your well wishes too...I'm leaving soon to sit in the parking lot of my vet and stay until I see my girl...they never called me and I know she is fine, but I am a wreck!
 
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Jac! I'm so sorry you are going thru this. Please keep us updated. Here is another site with lots of info (I had never heard of them, looks like they are WEST of the Mississppi) The site says to prevent problems in parks (large areas like your ranch) keep the grass mowed often and then the seeds will not be able to form on the tips.
http://www.sfdog.org/do/foxtails.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good article Linda, thanks!

It is so hard to deal with this when I have so many dogs...can you imagine inspecting each one over every inch of their (thickly furred) bodies several times per day? It is really tough...and when I miss them and one gets lodged in their feet or ears, I feel so guilty.

We did mow them down early and the darned things, literally, adjusted their height! They started seeding on 3 inch tall plants...we mowed to the dirt and still they flower! I think that I am more reactive to seeing a foxtail spike than I would be to a snake! LOL

Now, to get my little Maddie... :D
 

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Across North America, populations of green foxtail and knotroot foxtail are genetically differentiated along a north-south gradient. The history of invasion and colonization, the successful life histories of locally adapted weedy Setaria spp., and the evolutionary potential of this weed group emphasize the need for accurate prediction of its behavior. Weedy Setaria spp. management is the management of local selection pressure and consequent adaptation. Farmers, land managers, policy makers and regulators, homeowners, and consumers need accurate information about weedy Setaria spp. to predict and guide management decisions based on economics, risk, and environmental sustainability.

I think calling the local, county folks about this evil weed's elimination is the best idea....sounds to me that even another property could present the same problem, down the line, if not evident right now.
Country living presents all manner of different problems....when compared to more citified places.....I hope you can find an answer....

How did surgery go?

:roll:
 

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Linda,

Great article ! I appreciated the photos of the different varieties...Thanks for finding it and posting !
I never knew anything about this.....so glad you let us know, Jac!

8)
 

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GOATS...I'm not KIDDING you :roll: The only other thing I can think of is finding a competing plant that will take over the foxtail habitat. I hate those things. I've been through it Jac and it's a bummer. I always kept a bottle if mineral oil while out hunting my Goldens in the 80's. If one got in their nose I'd run the oil up the nostril and they'd come out. They have microscopic barbs which prevent them from moving backward. Mineral oil softens these barbs to allow you to extract the darn things. If It were me I'd get a few Goats or sheep to keep the grass short...mtd
 

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Hey! Not a bad idea....if it wouldn't hurt them. I read that cattle can have major problems after eating them....really messes up the digestive tract.

The mineral oil tip is valuable, thanks!!

What a menace they are! :twisted:
 

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Wow! Never heard of foxtails here in Michigan!!! But husband says we have them!Hope all goes well Jac!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks everyone for your tips, your concern and your ideas...Madison is home now...and fine! She did have a foxtail that entered her skin by her back leg, it migrated into her groin area but didn't affect her female organs, thank goodness.
The vet said that there is no way to be sure if they got it all (no x ray will show them) but they think that they did.
She is glad to be home and I bought her a new pink fuzzy bed which she is resting on by my feet as I type. I am so glad to have her back home!
 

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Hurray!!!

Ohhh, I am so glad she is home and doing fine!!
I'm sure she loves her new bed!

What will be your first round of attack against these demon grasses?
Keep us posted as to what you try and how it works.

8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Jane...well, as much as I hate to do this, I think that I will shave all of my dogs down, very short, while the Foxtails are out...then it will be much easier to brush them off, see them and make my nightly inspection.

I do think that we will plow them under and try to crowd them out with some other type of fast growing ground cover, like clover or regular grass.

I may get goats, although I asked a vet once if goats could eat Foxtails and she emphatically said NO! She said that they would be harmed just like all other animals...but I do know that people use goats to clear the brush...so maybe the trick is to get them to eat the weeds down when they are still tender and not dry spikes. That makes sense to me.

I don't like using chemicals, but I will if I have to...this has been too much suffering for my dogs...too much!

We do want goats anyway because our puppies will love the goats milk! :D

So, that's the plan...I do think that planting normal grass and watering it regularly will be a major help.
 
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