Sticker burrs tend to collect in a dog's hair faster than anything else I know. They're seeds from various weeds and plants that latch onto an animal's fur (or other means of transportation) so they can be deposited somewhere else as the animal moves from one place to another. Unfortunately, when they get caught up in dog hair, they often cause tangles and make a terrible mess.
The best way to avoid these obnoxious plants is to keep your dog out of dense brush where burrs and stickers get caught in paw pads and fur feathering; otherwise, getting rid of them can be an annoying experience. These areas also are prone to ticks, so keeping your dog out of the thicket makes an infinite amount of sense.
No one ever said, however, that a dog has enough sense to cooperate and stay out of the brush on hikes. So if your dog comes home with stickers in his fur, get them out right away. Working on them section by section is probably the best way, so just follow these steps:
Burrs and stickers are most painful here and can cause your dog to limp. Pick up and inspect each foot and run your fingers between the webbing on the paw pads to feel for anything prickly.
If you find something prickly, look at it. If it's a burr or prickly foreign matter, use tweezers or forceps to remove it. If it seems to be part of your dog, take your dog to the vet to have it examined.
2. Check your dog's legs for burrs.
If you find one, try separating it from the fur with a medium- or fine-toothed comb.
Sometimes rubbing a little cornstarch through the fur helps smooth out the prickles and loosens the hair. If you use cornstarch, you have to rub it into each of the burrs and then work them out with your fingers.
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