How Do You Know if Your Dog Has a Foxtail in the Nose?

Adrienne Farricelli

When a dog has a foxtail in the nose, you are likely to notice considering that it tends to cause significant signs.

If your dog has a foxtail in his nose, expect to see a variety of symptoms that are hard to ignore. Once the foxtail is inhaled, your dogs body reacts in an attempt to expel the foreign object as best as it can. Sadly, foxtails have a tendency to work their way into the nose, making them difficult to remove naturally. Often times, veterinary intervention is necessary. Following are some signs your dog has a foxtail in the nose.

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has a Foxtail in the Nose?

In most cases, a foxtail lodged into a dog's nose will trigger, violent, repetitive episodes of sneezing. The dog may also paw at the nose and may act anxious, pacing around in discomfort. When allowed to persist, the violent sneezing may lead to the dog spraying blood drops everywhere.

Sadly, it is quite rare for foxtails to be sneezed out. In most cases, they work their way into the dog's nose. Sometimes, although rarely, they may travel all the way up and then fall off into the upper part of the dog's throat just behind the nose where they are eventually swallowed. To add further insult to injury, it is sometimes possible for foxtails to reach the dog's lungs.

Generally, once foxtails migrate back into the less sensitive areas of the dog's nose, the sneezing subsides, but that obviously doesn't mean that the foxtail is gone.

However, they may simply lodge into the dog's nasal cavity where they can turn problematic and morph into a foreign body abscess.

How are Foxtails Removed From a Dog's Nose?

Typically, dogs are given light anesthesia briefly and the veterinarian scopes the dog's nose and then special alligator forceps are used to remove the foxtail from the dog's nasal cavity. In general, the procedure is quite brief and the sedation is quickly reversed with dogs normalizing and being able to go home within 10 minutes.

If you suspect your dog has a foxtail in the nose, see your vet at your earliest convenience, foxtails are not very forgiving, they rend to migrate deeper into the nasal passages becoming harder to find and remove.

Is it Normal To Keep on Sneezing Afterward?

The nostrils after the procedure may remain temporarily irritated, causing mild sneezing, but if the sneezing persists or blood is sneezed out, it's important to contact the vet again.

There are sometimes chances that a second foxtail may be present in the nose that was missed or parts of the first foxtail may have been left behind. Ask your vet if the foxtail removed was intact.