Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Public Service Announcement: Foxtails!

Miss Marble writes:

When I came inside last night, Mommy did my "burr-check", just like she does every time I come in.  She runs her hands over all my fur, including my tummy and legs, to check for tiny seeds called burrs.  They are ball-shaped, with tiny hooks, and were the inspiration for Velcro.  Well, they sure do that to my fur if I go through those plants that have burrs!  One time, Mommy got five out of me at once, and I have short fur!

I only had one last night, but then Mommy felt something that was a bump with prickles.  She made me stay put, holding me between her knees to keep me in place, while she parted my fur and looked at the bump.  She pulled something out with her claws (which she calls fingernails) and said I had a foxtail!  No, I have a kitty tail, Mommy!

She showed it to me, and I promptly tried to gently bite it out of her fingers.  I knew it was bad, no matter what it was called!  This kind of foxtail is a seed.  It has a hard point that sticks in skin, then grass-like parts that act as arrow barbs.  The point gets embedded in the skin, then the whole thing works its way in, through muscle, veins, arteries, anything that gets in its way.  Nasty things!  I'm so glad Mommy got it out of my fur before it tried to work its way under my skin.

If you have cats, dogs, or any other animal that goes outside, please be sure to check them for these nasties.  Check your own clothing, too, including socks and laces, before coming inside so you don't inadvertently track them in.  It's definitely foxtail season out there!  Click here for a picture and more information.

5 comments:

Colehaus Cats said...

Ugh. We check our outside visitor Geoffrey for these every summer, hoping he hasn't found a patch of foxtails. But he always does.

Sparkle said...

The cat before me used to come home with those. Fortunately for her, my human enjoyed picking them out.

Prancer Pie said...

We've heard those things can be awful! Glad you have a good Mommy that's keeping an eye on you.

Happy tuesday! xoxo

meowmeowmans said...

Luckily, Moosey is an inside only cat. But foxtails are NASTY, for sure!

The Lee County Clowder said...

We get a lot of burrs, mostly on our tails, for some reason. Foxtails aren't this far inland, yet, so far as we know. But from what Dad has read, they are nasty things.