Poison Ivy can cause an adverse effect on dogs, depending on the level of natural resistance to the plant and size of exposed skin area, or whether the Poison Ivy was ingested.
Poison Ivy is a species of flowering plants that grow as shrubs or vines in forests and marshes around Asia and North America. Recognizable by three leaves on a woody stem, Poison Ivy leaves come in shades of green, orange, red, and yellow depending on age and season.
Most parts of the Poison Ivy contain urushiol, a toxic allergen and irritant that is also present in some related plants, such as poison oak and poison sumac.
Dogs that are taken for walks or allowed to wander in wooded areas can accidentally brush past or even ingest poison ivy. Pay immediate attention if your dog shows any of these symptoms:
- Extreme and intense itching
- Chewing or licking self
- Skin reddening
- Blistering or bumpy red rash
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- Diarrhea and vomiting
These three home remedies may help alleviate symptoms. Wear gloves when handling exposed dogs to minimize your own risk.
1. Warm Bath
Give your dog a thorough bath with warm water and a mild shampoo.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Fill up a spray bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and cold water and shake thoroughly. Spray onto your dog’s coat post bath, while avoiding the eyes, nose, and mouth.
3. Coconut Oil
A milder alternative to apple cider vinegar, coconut oil helps to relieve severe irritation and itching when applied to the skin post bath.
For severe symptoms, take your dog straight to the veterinarian, who may prescribe a combination of these four treatment options:
- Topical Antihistamine Medication
Dog breeds with short coats are prone to experience wider areas of skin exposure. However, breeds with long and thick coats can still brush past the urushiol oil and trail it home, causing a possible outbreak.
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