Consider the sweet 10-year-old Miniature Schnauzer I treated the other day. The poor, miserable dog had an agonizingly painful purple-colored swollen area on his penis. The dog was in so much pain that he could barely move. He had a fever. He screamed in distress when I gently tried to evaluate the area.
The owner was pretty sure that the dog had been bitten by a spider. Or, the owner surmised, perhaps the dog had injured himself on someone’s leg.
I couldn’t help noticing that dozens of foxtails were embedded in the owner’s shoes. This led me to offer up an alternative theory–that the dog had been playing in dry grass that had gone to seed, and a foxtail had penetrated his privates.
The owner replied, “Oh yes, there are lots of foxtails in the area of the park where I like to take him. Those foxtails are horrible!”
Yes, foxtails are horrible. And plenty of dogs are exposed to foxtails despite their owners’ diligent efforts to protect them.
But why would anyone who understands the dangers of foxtails knowingly allow his dog to play in a foxtail-infested area?
My staff and I anesthetized the dog. After 20 minutes of probing, I removed the foxtail from the dog’s penis. He woke up visibly relieved.
That dog paid the price for his owner’s lack of common sense. Don’t let your dog suffer the same fate.
Photo: public enemy number one!