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Hi everyone,

This afternoon, the groomer found what appeared to be the entry point for a foxtail on my puppy's shoulder. (I have a seven-month old cocker spaniel.) The groomer told me to take her to the vet right away so that the vet could cut out the foxtail.

When I took our dog to the vet an hour or so later, however, the vet looked at it (it's a raised, pus-filled area about the size of a dime or a little smaller, with a red spot in the middle) and said she thought that it looked like the foxtail had already "worked itself out on its own." From what I've read, though, no foxtail would work itself out on its own!!! When the vet squeezed it, a little bit of blood oozed out, and there is no swelling in her muscles or tissues below the skin/coat -- everything is just on the coat/skin itself at this point. The vet just suggested putting salt water compresses on the spot 2 times a day for the next three days, and told me to bring her back on Monday morning if she does not improve. The vet said she doesn't like doing surgery if she doesn't have to and wanted to wait to see if things improve.

My question is: should I try to find another vet who will cut into my puppy to make sure that the foxtail is truly gone? From what I've read, it seems like the foxtail could continue on to our dog's lungs or heart, and that it's better to find the foxtail surgically sooner rather than later. Does a foxtail ever ever come out on its own? How can you tell whether it is truly gone? Will waiting 3 days make a big difference? I know these foxtails move fast!

I love my little puppy so so so much, and the thought of losing her just because the vet didn't cut her open to find the foxtail makes me sick at my stomach, but I also would like to trust our vet -- she hasn't been wrong before.

Does anyone with any veterinary or personal knowledge know anything about these questions? Should I be searching out a different vet?

Thank in advance for any help -- I'm a very worried puppy parent.
 

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Never had a problem with foxtails causing injury although my dogs do get into them all the time but Artie did get into cholla cactus and didn't need surgery. The spine was encapsulated by Artie's body and came out on its own in about a month or so. We could feel it the whole time and it plainly wasn't going anywhere.

Scary things! Max got one in his eye once and I sure got that thing out fast. I saw it on the lower lid but it was hiding all the way inside his lid before I could remove it. He used to get positively covered with weed seeds as a youngster but never had any enter his skin at any point. I was lucky and he was patient, let me comb through and check his ears and feet after walks around dry weeds.
 
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