It’s foxtail season, again!

Photo © Margaret Birkhaeuser

The emergency room docs I work with are  busy pulling foxtails out of eyes, ears, noses, and throats as well as from in between toes.  Such activity reminds me that it is once again time to blog about these pesky bristly plant awns that grow in abundance where I live in California.  In fact they are reported in most every state west of the Mississippi.  For more information about foxtails and the ways they wreak havoc, please read the blog I wrote right about this time last year.

This year I’d like to tell you about a new way to prevent foxtails from finding their way into their favorite canine orifices (eyes, ears, nose, and mouth). Check out the OutFox Field Guard™ (, the brainchild of a clever woman named Diane Kostelec. I suspect her invention was born as a result of multiple foxtail related trips to the veterinary hospital.  Have a look at Diane’s site and you will see dogs modeling their mesh bonnets along with a video demonstrating the ease of attaching and detaching the device from a dog’s collar.  Believe it or not, dogs can drink and even carry toys in their mouths while wearing them!  A few of my clients who have purchased the product are completely sold on their investment.

Photo © Margaret Birkhaeuser

If your dog has been a foxtail repeat offender I strongly encourage you to consider the OutFox Field Guard™.  Not only is it a great insurance policy to protect your dog’s health, think about the money you’ll save by eliminating trips to the vet clinic during foxtail season.

Photo © Margaret Birkhaeuser

Has your dog been a repeat offender?  Please share your story.

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

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2 Comments on “It’s foxtail season, again!

  1. Dr. Kay thanks for the great press but I have to give my partner Diane Kostelec the credit for the design and patent of the fieldguard. It is her brainchild born from foxtail frustration. I am thankful for her creativity for my own dog’s protection and the opprotunity it has afforded to become invloved in the greater dog community.

  2. So sad to see dogs in shock collars showing off such a cool product! :(
    Sounds like a great alternative for rock-eating brachycephalics too?