Jump to content
BC Boards

Major grazing mishap


Recommended Posts

That's really unfair. Odin IS smart. He picks up new words extremely quickly (<5 repetitions) and retains them, learns new commands quickly, and has demonstrated some good problem solving ability on his beginning stock efforts.

 

BUT

 

On Monday, when he was in the field with me for work, I was addressing my survey crew and not paying attention to him. He found a patch of hare barley (a nasty type of foxtails) growing next to a fencepost behind me and started grazing. Suddenly, as I'm talking, I hear a "GAKK." I look around, see what he's doing, and realize he's grazing in a patch of foxtails. !!!!! I told him to leave it, and he did, although he kept GAKKing for a while. When I finished with my talk, I looked him over carefully, in his throat and ears and nose, and couldn't find anything. I gave him some water and he stopped GAKKing. Because the foxtails are still green and closed at this time of the year, I just hoped he got out of it ok, but was worried.

 

Then, in the night, he started YURKing, but not throwing up. I told DH I was worried he had a foxtail caught in his throat and we would maybe need to go to the vet in the morning.

 

The next morning he would only eat some of his food. He seemed lethargic and sad. I took him to the office with me, and let him in the courtyard. Where he finally threw up --

 

---an ENTIRE seedhead's worth of foxtails.

 

Yep - he must have eaten one of these:

 

Hordeum_murinum_in_Voorhis_Ecological_Reserve,Cal_Poly_Pomona.jpg

 

So, off to the vet we went. He got sedated x-rays, and also scoped on both ends under sedation. The vet can't find any masses on the x-rays (you can't see individual foxtails, but you can see big masses of them), and couldn't find anything within scope's reach. She thinks, and I sincerely hope, that it is early enough in the season that it is unlikely any will pierce his tissues, as they are still green and soft, with undeveloped seed "skewers".

 

I am going to be SO paranoid about him grazing from now on - I have NEVER known him to like any hordeum, and would have NEVER guessed he would try and eat any seedhead, let alone one that is over two inches long and bristling with awns. Now, we just have to wait and hope he passes them all through - about 4 have already come out the other side (still green). This happened when he was close by me, I knew where he was, I just wasn't paying close attention to him that second. Since I can't possibly keep my eyes on him every second we are outside, and foxtails and ripgut brome are some of the most common grasses in California, I think I have to make a stern rule and stop him from ever eating any grass unless specifically released by me.

 

He hasn't GAKKed or YURKed since the throwing up, and I really hope the vet is right that he is likely to be ok due to the softness of the foxtails right now. But any mojo you all could contribute would be very welcome - I am still worried anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He found a patch of hare barley (a nasty type of foxtails) growing next to a fencepost behind me and started grazing. Suddenly, as I'm talking, I hear a "GAKK." I look around, see what he's doing, and realize he's grazing in a patch of foxtails.

I have also noted that the foxtail type grasses are in season and, yes, I have grazers, though I haven't seen them actually try to eat a seed head so far. Our normal morning walk takes us past several areas with the grass. I'm not a botanist and anyway, it's still too dark when we pass through to identify the exact type, but I try very hard to keep them away from the stuff. Alas, all the really, really interesting smells happen to be in the same area, so it's a bit of a struggle.

 

I'm glad that Odin is OK -- the green stuff isn't the scary sort, but it won't be long before the heads mature and dry out.

 

BTW: Is there an easy way to identify the REALLY nasty ones from the others, or is it best just to keep the dogs clear of anything and everything that looks similar?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have also noted that the foxtail type grasses are in season and, yes, I have grazers, though I haven't seen them actually try to eat a seed head so far. Our normal morning walk takes us past several areas with the grass. I'm not a botanist and anyway, it's still too dark when we pass through to identify the exact type, but I try very hard to keep them away from the stuff. Alas, all the really, really interesting smells happen to be in the same area, so it's a bit of a struggle.

 

I'm glad that Odin is OK -- the green stuff isn't the scary sort, but it won't be long before the heads mature and dry out.

 

BTW: Is there an easy way to identify the REALLY nasty ones from the others, or is it best just to keep the dogs clear of anything and everything that looks similar?

 

 

Yeah, I've never seen him try to eat a seedhead either. Including the one he apparently ate.

 

I assume any grass that will stick in my socks, has a sharp point, and works its way in (having barbs) could be dangerous. That encompasses a lot of wild grasses. I've always heard that foxtails of any kind (they all look similar to that, with smaller or larger heads and longer or shorter awns) can be dangerous, as well as some bromes, like ripgut brome:

 

5387158.jpg

 

Others may know more, though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheaper than the vet's, if they have one stuck in the throat...soak a cotton ball in mineral oil, then shove down the throat the same way you would a pill.

 

I TOTALLY HATE foxtails, and have certainly had more than my share of vet expenses and serious scares due to them, but, more often than not, they will go on down into the digestive tract and be disposed of that way if they go in through the nose or mouth. Good luck this season to all who have to deal with foxtails,

A

ETA: I find the dogs tend to not really get them in noses, ears, mouth, etc. when actually working; it's when they are just hanging around sniffing, etc. that the probelms seem to arise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...