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If you ever came in contact with poison ivy, you know what the aftermath is – terrible and annoying rashes. But can it affect dogs as well? Can dogs get poison ivy? While the answer to this question is yes, it seems as if it affects dogs way less than humans. Their thick coats reduce the chances of the poison ivy getting in contact with their skin. But it’s still possible.
The contact will result in a red and itchy rash that will appear wherever the plant came in contact with your dog’s skin. Another way that poison ivy may affect your dog is after they ingest it. Eating poison ivy can lead to different gastrointestinal issues. While mild cases of poison ivy usually go away on their own, some more severe cases will need treatment.
Here’s what you should know about poison ivy in dogs.
What does poison ivy look like?
This plant is most commonly found in North America and can be found in fields, backyards, forests and wetlands. It grows in clusters, and you can recognize them by their groups of three jagged green leaves.
A good way to remember what poison ivy looks like is the rhyme, “Leaves of three, let them be.”
The one part of this plant causing the rashes is called uroshial oil. It’s found all over the body and leaf of the plant.
What are the symptoms of poison ivy poisoning in dogs?
The symptoms start after the dog comes in contact with the uroshial oil. This oil can also transfer from dogs to humans and causing rashes in them as well.
This oil can stay potent for a while after the initial contact, so make sure to not come in contact with it yourself.
The symptoms and outcome also depend on whether your dog ingested the plant or just had a skin reaction to the contact with the oil.
The most common symptoms of poison ivy poisoning include:
- Redness of the skin
- Itching and inflammation
- Bumps on the skin
- Scratching and licking of the affected area
Poison ivy can also cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This condition can end lethal if it’s not treated right away.
The areas of your dog’s body without hair are at the highest risk of developing rashes after contact with the plant.
How can you treat poison ivy poisoning and rashes?
Before treating your dog, make sure to protect yourself first. Get gloves to avoid getting the oil all over yourself.
After that, try giving your dog a bath with a mild shampoo and warm water. Rinse the shampoo and repeat the process so you’re making sure all of the oil is out.
Always wash the towels after drying your dog. You don’t want any of the residual oil to come in contact with you or your dog.
Contact your vet and ask them about giving Benadryl to your dog. Benadryl is safe when used in moderation and can help with reducing the symptoms of poison ivy poisoning.
If your dog’s only experiencing mild symptoms, chances are that they will disappear on their own.
Some home remedies may also help. Such as aloe vera, cucumber slices or calamine lotion. However, you’ll still want to consult your vet about these possible solutions.
What if my dog ingested poison ivy?
Dogs love to eat grass from time to time while on walks. However, sometimes things can go south while they are doing that. One of those moments is when they ate poison ivy. If you’re suspecting that your dog ingested this plant, contact your vet immediately!
The most common symptoms of gastrointestinal poison ivy poisoning include vomiting and loss of appetite.
Bring your dog to a professional right away. And also make sure to hydrate your dog on the way to the vet. In extreme cases vomiting and diarrhea from poison ivy poisoning could cause dehydration.
Even though in most cases poison ivy isn’t affecting dogs, it could still cause troubles in some rare cases.
Just keep an eye out for any skin signs or signs of gastrointestinal upset, and both you and your dog will be fine.
In the meantime, avoid this plant whenever you see it and make sure your dog is nowhere near it either.