Saturday, June 4, 2011

Today's Tip

Can Dogs Get Affected By Poison Oak or Ivy?
by The canine experts at
  Hiking season is upon us and with it comes the threat of poison ivy or poison oak. The two are related, and they produce a toxin that causes skin irritation in sensitive individuals. Most dogs, however, are not sensitive to poison oak or ivy. I live in an area where poison oak is very common, and I have yet to diagnose a dog with a case of it.

That does not, however, mean that dog owners should allow their pooches to go off leash in areas where the plants grow. The toxic plant oils can adhere to pets' skin, and then transfer to yours. Secondary exposure to poison ivy/oak is not uncommon among dog owners. Any individual exposed to poison oak or ivy should attempt to wash the oils off with soap (or, in your dog's case, appropriate shampoo) and water. Severe skin eruptions should be treated by a physician or vet.

Dr. Eric Barchas, DVM, is Dogster's resident vet. Visit him at ourVet Blog.