SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – The death of a beloved K9 officer in Cache County has veterinarians raising awareness about the dangers of foxtail weeds. 

K9 Officer Storm died last week after ingesting a foxtail weed. The seed from the plant traveled through the animal’s system and caused significant damage. 

Cache County Sheriff's Office K9 dies after inhaling Foxtail weed during demonstration

The noxious plant is common in dry, hot temperatures around Utah. The seeds from foxtails can get embedded under an animal’s skin and cause internal infections and injuries, doctors said. 

Dr. Gary Peterson, veterinarian at Town and Country Veterinary Hospital, said Monday the seeds from the fox tail act much like a porcupine quill and can travel to different locations of an animal’s body upon entry. 

“Biggest area to check is in between the webbing of their feet, their long hair in the armpit area, and their ears,” said Peterson, who added dog owners should check daily for foxtails, especially after being outside. 

Symptoms of problems associated with fox tails include excessive licking of the affected area and head shaking if the dog has somehow ingested the plant through its nose.