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Foxtail between toes

October 29th, 2005, 04:21 PM
Yesterday, Sequoia was licking a lot between his toes and I noted a red bump about the size of a very large pea. Since it was closing time, the vet office asked me to come in this morning, just in case they had to operate to remove the bump and whatever was in it, likely foxtail. They also asked me to soak his paws which I did.

This morning the bump looked a bit smaller (regular pea size) and pinkish, rather than red. The vet confirmed it was probably foxtail and gave me two options. He said he could go in and try to remove the foxtail, but sometimes they are hard to find. The alternative was to wait a couple days with warm soaks in Epsom salts 3x day while giving antibiotics for infection, in the hopes that the foxtail is already out or will come out. Given Sequoia doesn't handle anesthesia well, the vet recommended the alternative and I concurred. He wants me to call him on Monday.

So.....Now I'm soaking Sequoia's (90 pound Chesapeake Bay Retriever) front paw and pushing/massaging the boil in the direction of a pin hole/slit in the hopes of pushing out the foxtail out if it is still present.

Sequoia seems less interested in the boil and doesn't seem to mind my handling it today. So I am really hoping the foxtail is out and hasn't moved somewhere else.

My question....has anyone else had experience with foxtail between toes? Any other tricks to getting it out? What signs would indicate the foxtail is gone. The vet said the boil would go away if the foxtail came out - but I didn't think to ask how, by bursting or draining perhaps?

Thanks, so much, for sharing your experiences. I will try to do a better job of sharing mine...

Rahul and Sequoia

October 30th, 2005, 11:06 AM
Sorry if I'm dense, but what's a foxtail?

October 30th, 2005, 03:19 PM
The vet tells me it's wheat-like grass with seeds that resemble a fox's tail. The seeds have barbs that make them prick and enter the dogs skin and not come out.

jesse's mommy
October 30th, 2005, 03:34 PM
Prin thanks for asking that. I was wondering the same thing!

October 30th, 2005, 04:54 PM
Ok then... If the foxtail is gone, the pus inside would get reabsorbed and the boil would disappear... If he's not bothered by it, I would assume that it's not itchy, therefore not infected as much anymore. I say just keep an eye on it. :)

October 31st, 2005, 12:34 PM
Always good to hear everyone's thoughts, gives a lot of perspective. Thanks. The vet said that the potential foxtail needs to be removed since the abscess didn't burst. For those in California - foxtail can be deadly. You don't mess with it!

I took Sequoia in for surgery this morning. Given his history of possible kidney reactions, the vet agreed to go very light on the anesthesia and provide lots of IV support during and after the procedure.

Sequoia was such a good boy this morning. The neighborhood breakfast/coffee shop was crowded at opening time due to the time change and the employees and customers were dressed for Halloween. Sequoia was great, not suspicious or overly protective (as I expected) and very friendly to the costumed!

October 31st, 2005, 01:28 PM
Is he out of surgery yet? How did it go?

October 31st, 2005, 05:03 PM
The vet just called. He is out of surgery, but the vet only got fragments. He thinks he's gotten it all and said he looked pretty extensively. If not, we'll know when the bandages come off on Thursday.

November 3rd, 2005, 03:41 PM
The bandages came off. There is some redness and a small bump at the site and a small bump. The vet who took the bandage off (different vet - seeing a dermatologist for a nail issue) said it looked fine and the redness is normal.

There is some redness at where he was given an IV (possibly due to licking). The vet suggested triple antibiotic and to put baby powder on it.

November 3rd, 2005, 04:00 PM
Triple antibiotic? Or topical? Triple antibiotic sounds a bit harsh for a bit of licking... :eek: I'm glad he's doing better. :)

November 3rd, 2005, 04:36 PM

Triple antibiotic is a topical ointment with three antibiotics, at mild dose. A lot of people seem to keep this at home and use it for cuts and scuffs.

November 3rd, 2005, 04:40 PM
Ok. Like polysporin. If the doggy was going to get three different sets of pills, I would be worried, but that makes sense. :)