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Vet issues urgent warning over common plant that could kill your dog and urges owners to be vigilant


A vet issues an urgent warning about a common plant that could kill your dog and urges owners to be vigilant

A vet has issued an urgent warning to dog owners about a plant that commonly grows in green spaces across the UK.

The seeds of the plants in particular can cause canines to develop a deadly infection if eaten or inhaled, according to experts.

Foxtail plants, scientific name Alopecurus, are part of the grass family and can cause serious problems if dogs come into contact with them.

The encounter can result in death if the seeds manage to get trapped through the ears, feet and fur.

Chief Veterinarian Sean McCormack said Sun that dog owners should be especially vigilant during the summer months where the plant can be easily seen.

Foxtail plants, scientifically named Alopecurus, are part of the grass family and grow in green spaces across the UK, but pose a serious risk to dogs if eaten or touched.

Foxtail plants can grow up to a meter tall, with furry, foxtail-like tips from which spiky clusters of seeds sprout.

Homeowners are urged to keep their eyes peeled because the plants can grow in common walking areas and green spaces, such as meadows, pathways, and marshes.

The deadly weeds can even spread to grow on roadsides and bordering hedges.

Describing the foxtail’s effect on dogs, Sean said: “Their spiky hairs that sit on top of the stalks are incredibly sharp and can pierce or scratch your skin or embed yourself in your paws.”

The vet explained that if the seeds lodge between a dog’s claws, toes, or between the paw pad and skin, it can cause severe pain.

Some breeds with floppy ears or longer, thicker coats are more likely to be at risk because their fur essentially serves as a Velcro strap.

If the seeds are consumed, a fatal infection can quickly occur.

Some of the main symptoms that dog owners should be aware of are: painful lumps, swollen paws, and lethargic attacks.

Some dogs may also experience a lack of appetite because the ingested foxtail could be causing pain in their organs.

Veterinarians advise owners to avoid walking through long, grassy areas during outings with their pets, and to always keep an eye out for the toxic plant.

If your dog comes into contact with foxtail or its seeds, it is recommended, as with tick removal, to use tweezers and remove any remains of the plant attached to its fur.

If an infection does occur, it’s important to take your dog to the local vet immediately for further evaluation and treatment.

Another of nature’s creations has also proven, in the first confirmed case of its kind, to be lethal to dogs that come into close contact with it.

A dog died in less than 45 minutes in July after being poisoned by blue-green algae in a Worcestershire lake.

Jan Egginton lost her beloved two-year-old smooth-coated retriever, Cove, by the side of Wimbleball Lake on Exmoor after coming into contact with the deadly substance.

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