Foxtails are innocuous looking weeds, but they can be dangerous to dogs that sniff or step on them, and one reader says she’s been seeing them in Riverside Park. Cathrine Steck took the photos above and below and sent in an explanation:
“There is a proliferation of foxtails in Riverside Park especially north of the Boat Basin Cafe. These plants are deadly to dogs. If they breathe them in (a dog pees on them, your dog sniffs?) they are almost impossible for a vet to remove. They travel up the dogs nose to the brain. Foxtail pictures attached. These are green. They are far more dangerous as they dry out.”
A Parks Department spokesperson tells us they have “not had any incidences with foxtails,” but adds “That said, they are weeds, and are removed by our maintenance staff in the normal course of cleanup of this kind.”
WebMD explains more about the risk here.