Cactus Needles

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Cactus Needles

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:38 pm

So we hunted chukar quite successfully this weekend, but I pulled over 100 cactus needles out of Rowdys feet and legs. I am sure I missed a lot as I can feel some but not see them. Will they eventually fester out Or is this something I need to make a vet trip to for fear of them migrating. We were hunting in Idaho. Looked like prickly pear but with very long needles. Short ones are buried and almost invisible.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
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Re: Cactus Needles

Postby ECO » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:11 pm

We regularly hunt in areas pretty heavy with a few different kinds of Beavertail like you describe. Have found that the little needles tend to work their way in a ways and form small cysts or pustules (zits). The cysts seem to encapsulate them pretty well and we haven't had them migrate past that point, although I'm sure it is possible. Have found that a very fine toothed comb (ie mustache comb or similar) will help them stand up where you feel them but can't really see them and make them easier to grab with hemostats or pliers (at least with Vizsla length fur). Good luck, they sure are a pain in the ass to get out especially when there are tons of them.
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Re: Cactus Needles

Postby mrelite » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:41 am

Here in NM my dog gets them almost every day so I need to make sure and regularly get them out, when he gets them I just put my headlamp and glasses on then use tweezer's to get them all out, the headlamp on high really illuminates the cactus, even the little gold ones, we have been doing it since he was a puppy so he is pretty use to it.
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Re: Cactus Needles

Postby jfwhit » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:19 am

My first exposure to this with my Brittany was last season. mrelite has the right idea. I did find that he got wise to them and was able to avoid them. So late season it became a non issue. I did go the boot route. Big pain and it hindered his range and stamina.
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Re: Cactus Needles

Postby JTracyII » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:32 am

I dealt with them as well. I plan to go back to some of the same areas as the birds were good. I also strapped on boots in the form of inner tube tires, but my dogs feet rubbed raw on the knuckles and around the leg where tape was placed over vet wrap. I have heard of guys forgetting the boots and just letting dogs figure it out after a few trips. What do folks who hunt in cactus areas do? Boots? No Boots?
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