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Foxtail barley seeds present problem for Perrysburg pets, 400-foot fence built around field to stop seed's spread

People in Perrysburg are complaining about a field on Eckel Junction Rd. loaded with foxtail barley, an invasive weed that can cause serious medical issues to pets.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — When J.R. Miazga saw someone across the street from his Perrysburg home on a tractor in the field - he thought nothing of it. But now, his plans for a pleasant Fourth of July with his wife and two daughters have been thwarted after he said his two dogs ingested foxtail barley that came from that field.

"The seeds have little barbs on it. And can dig its way into the throat lining of dogs and other animals," said Miazga. 

Foxtail Barley is considered an invasive weed that can spread rapidly. According to WebMD, when dogs are exposed to it, owners should watch out for signs of problems that include: swelling in the dog's feet, tilting to one side and scratching ears, redness and swelling of the eyes, fits of sneezing.

Credit: Brody Sell

Miazga says his dogs may have ingested it, so he took them to a vet in Columbus where they concluded they both may possibly need of surgery. 

RELATED: Unseasonable weather delaying spring planting

A farmer has planted crops in the field this year but that hasn't prevented the weed from growing.

Credit: Zack Carreon

Miazga says he is reserving judgment, but he is concerned about what led up to the toxic weed blowing into his backyard and affecting his beloved dogs.  

"My understanding is that a farmer might not be the person who owns the land and just rents it from them," said Miazga. "It's the owner of the land who should be maintaining the land.”

On Sunday, a spokesperson for the City of Perrysburg responded to WTOL 11’s request for comment and told us city officials have been holding meetings regarding the issue and are looking into solutions the city might take.

It was also revealed that the field had not been sprayed to kill the foxtail barley this year because it was too wet in the spring.

To exacerbate the problem, after a crop of beans was planted, dry weather slowed the growth of the crop preventing it from crowding out the weeds.

The city says the owners of the field - Bethel Assembly of God - installed a 400-foot fence in hope of stopping the weeds from blowing onto neighboring properties.

In the meantime, the city hopes to work with the church to find a short-term solution to the problem.

According to the city, area farmers they spoke to said if the field is mowed right now it will make the situation worse, so arrangements have been made for the church to mow the field in the fall.

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