Poor West. I took the boys down the bank on my property for a good romp. They had a fantastic time and I wore them both out.
When we got back up, I noticed West had a few burrs. I pulled them out, then felt him over. His underbelly and pants/tail were COVERED in them. I started brushing them out, but he was just stressing more and more. I'm sure it was painful as well as uncomfortable/scary. So, I got out the scissors :(
I think it was by far the most humane thing, as it took me just a couple of snips to remove the ball of burrs from his tail, but.. he no longer has much tail fur !! Shh, don't tell Sheena ;)
He's fully forgiven me for the 'treatment' and HE doesn't care if his tail looks like it belongs to a rat. It'll grow back.
I think part of the reason he got so many burrs is that his underbelly and tail/pants fur is VERY damaged. I know he came into rescue with urine scald, so I expect it's related. The fur on his back and sides is smooth, silky and healthy, but the underneath stuff is just wrecked. The burrs slide out of the silky fur, but not so much the nasty stuff. So, hopefully over time as he grows new coat, he'll be able to shed the burrs more easily.
I have some video to post later too, thanks to Chris.