Poison Ivy

Natural skin soothing treatments for cats and dogs allergic to plants such as poison oak and ivy.

natural treatments to soothe cats & dogs allergic to poison oak & ivy

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  1. What is Poison Ivy?
  2. Diagnosing Allergic Reactions to Poison Ivy
  3. Help for Poison Ivy
  4. More Information on Poison Ivy

What is Poison Ivy?

Poison oak and poison ivy are plants that contain a toxic principle – urushiol. This toxin resides in the plant sap – often coming into contact with animals and pets. While animals are fairly resilient to the toxin, they can transmit the toxin to their owner.

Pets will most likely encounter the plant in wooded areas, and rub against it (seldom ingesting it). The sap tends to stick to the coat of the animal and in this way is transferred to human skin when the pet is petted.

Diagnosing Allergic Reactions to Poison Ivy

While extreme allergic reactions to poison ivy are unlikely, watch for the following in your pets:

  • Red inflamed skin
  • Itchiness
  • Raised bumps or swellings on the skin
  • Vomiting or diarrhea if plant is ingested

If your animal develops a severe reaction to the plant, or if it has been ingested, seek veterinary care. This should also be done if you pet is vomiting, has diarrhea or weakness. The diagnosis is based on known exposure or ingestion of the plant.

Help for Poison Ivy

Treatment depends on how bad the reaction is – for animals with skin irritation, prolonged bathing and rinsing, lasting at least 10 minutes, is recommended. For those animals that have eaten the plant, hospitalization may be necessary with activated charcoal administered if plant material is present in the stomach.

Natural Remedies

There are many natural ingredients that have been used to soothe swelling and inflammation. Herbal and homeopathic remedies from a reputable source, can offer soothing relief without side effects.

Hamamelis virginianum (Witch hazel) and Calendula officinalis (Marigold) are herbal ingredients used to support skin health and soothe agitated skin. Lemon balm and Urtica urens have cleansing properties, helping to address superficial wounds and conditions of the skin.

More Information on Poison Ivy

Tips related to poison ivy:

  • If your pet has come into contact with poison ivy, bathing and rinsing for at least 10 minutes is recommended until the skin is soothed and sap is removed (wear gloves so you do not come in contact with the sap and remember to rinse out the tub!)
  • If you suspect your pet has ingested the plant, monitor them for vomiting, lack of appetite or diarrhea.
  • Do not give them medications until you have consulted with your vet.
  • Do not allow your pet to freely roam.
  • When on vacation, take care to avoid poison oak or poison ivy plants.

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