Below is a helpful email that I send my clients once a year. Hopefully it can help an owner prevent a foxtail from penetrating, or help an owner get the proper treatment.
Hi <<First Name>>,
This email is to let clients know that foxtails are becoming more and more prevalent as the grasses begin to die. Foxtails are the seeds that many of the local grasses leave behind when they die. They are sharp on one end, and the hairs on them only allow them to move in one direction. They can actually pierce a dog’s skin and can become a serious problem if embedded in the ears, nose, stomach, etc., and a slightly less serious problem when embedded between the toes. Foxtails can become embedded in the skin, and can work their way through the body until they come out of the other side, or hit an impenetrable bone, ligament, etc.
I find that short-haired breeds such as Pit Bulls are much less likely to be susceptible foxtails, while breeds with a thick coat, such as German Shepherds, Akitas, Poodle mixes, etc. are much more likely to pick them up. Dogs can often pick them up in between the toes, on the nook where their upper hind legs meet their stomachs, and on their chest, as well as their nose and ears.