Foxtails & Spring Hazards

Now that the cold days of winter are over and spring has arrived, there are new things for you to worry about when your pet is outdoors. It is essential that you understand the springtime hazards so that you can protect them. Our staff at Bluegrass Animal Hospital in Knoxville, TN, has comprised a list of common hazards for you to be aware of while your pet is outside.


Foxtail plants are a grass-like weed that produces barbed seed heads that can work their way into your pet's skin and feet. Embedded foxtails can cause swelling, pain, discharge, abscesses, and even death. When your pet comes indoors, you should check them for foxtails. If the foxtail isn't deeply embedded, you can remove it with a pair of tweezers. If it is deep or causing irritation around the area, they will need to go to the vet for removal and treatment.


During the spring, ticks begin to multiply at a rapid rate. Ticks carry diseases such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis. These diseases can make your pet very sick, and in some cases, they are deadly. It is essential that you use preventative flea and tick medications to keep your pet safe.


Heartworm is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It is a serious disease that can affect your pet's heart, lungs, liver, kidney, eyes, and his central nervous system. If heartworm goes untreated, it can be deadly. Your vet can prescribe heartworm preventative medication to protect your pet this spring.


If you are going to be using fertilizer in your garden or flower bed, you should keep your pet away. Fertilizer contains toxic substances such as nitrogen and iron. These chemicals can cause pancreatic and gastrointestinal problems. In large doses, they can poison your pet.

Bee Stings

Pets are curious. If your pet spots a beehive and decides to investigate, they can get stung multiple times. To protect your pet, the beehives should be removed from your property. If your pet is stung and experiences an adverse reaction, they will need immediate medical treatment.

Thawing Ponds 

When the weather warms up in the spring, ponds that were frozen during the winter will begin to thaw. If your pet falls in a thawing pond, he can fall through the ice. It is essential to keep your pet away from these bodies of water until the ice has thawed completely.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

To ensure your pet's safety this spring, our veterinarian at Bluegrass Animal Hospital in Knoxville, TN can provide preventative medications and give you information regarding each spring hazard. The more informed you are, the safer your pet will be this spring. You can schedule an appointment with us by calling (865) 694-8387!

Office Hours


7:30 am-5:30 pm


7:30 am-5:30 pm


7:30 am-5:30 pm


7:30 am-5:30 pm


7:30 am-5:30 pm


9:00 am-1:00 pm