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Poison Ivy

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Mild

Common signs to watch for:

  • Skin reddening
  • Swelling and itching at the point of skin/urushiol contact
  • Fluid filled vesicles and scabs may also form on the skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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Poison ivy, or Toxicodendron radicans, may sound very “poisonous” because of its name, however, it is generally considered only mildly toxic. When pets are exposed to poison ivy (either by dermal or oral exposure), it can result in a contact dermatitis or even gastrointestinal irritation. The clear liquid found within the sap of poison ivy – urushiol – causes an intense, itchy rash.

Dogs can get poison ivy, but thankfully, it’s not nearly as common as it is in humans. Thanks to their long, protective hair coat, the oils from poison ivy just can’t reach the skin. Unfortunately, these oils can be spread from Itchy Izzy to you. Use caution when hiking through poison ivy with Izzy and avoid petting her immediately after. If you bring a towel, dry wipe her off after hiking (while wearing gloves!). Often you can minimize the likelihood of her transmitting these oils to you. If itchy Izzy has short hair and does get poison ivy, try bathing her in a colloidal oatmeal shampoo – they have them for dogs too!

Poison type: Plants

Alternate names: Eastern poison ivy, western poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and poison ash are also Toxicodendron species