Are you going for a walk or a hike, make sure you keep dogs safe from poison ivy, Oak, and Sumac. A dog whether big or small love spending time outdoors where poison ivy, Oak, and Sumac can bring the fun to a halt pretty fast.
These common plants cause allergic reactions to domestic pets and humans. As a pet owner, you need to know the effects these plants are likely to have on your pets’ health and the possible remedy when your pets are exposed.
Get to Know Your Enemies
The most important step to take is to know where the plants habitat and how to locate them. Unfortunately, poison ivy can grow anywhere and are identifiable by a set of three shiny leaflets. For poison ivy, it poses more danger as it grows in the most unexpected areas such as in residential areas or the outskirts of the city. Oak also grows in low shrub areas but may also pop up in Pacific coastline identified by long vines. Sumac grows in swampy areas and appears in the form of clusters with green-white fruits.
How Pets React to Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac
You may have avoided coming into contact with these plants especially if you live in an area that they are common. If your pet gets into contact with any of the three poisonous plants, they will become itchy and start showing rashes all over. Nevertheless, the good news is that vets say there is no need to panic because the effects on humans far much worse compared to animals. In animals, you will see redness in the hairless areas.
The effect in pets may show up as a red bump, them itchiness comes in before turning into a blister full of clear fluid. If in an unfortunate situation that your dog ingests any of these plants, they will suffer irritation in the intestinal tract and experience vomiting and diarrhea until it clears. Vets do not encourage inducing vomiting in such cases.
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How do you prevent the Spreading of Poison from Pets to Humans?
Veterinary experts explain that the biggest threat should not be what will happen, when pets ingest the poisonous plants, but when they become carriers, passing the plant in question to you. The most obvious way of transferring the poison is from the dog’s fur when you are exposed to it.
Human exposure to plants may lead to rashes that can take a week to go and in severe cases may swell up leading to breathing difficulty. This reason alone is enough for you to initiate preventive actions to protect yourself and family members. It is a good show of care if you use a wet, damp towel after a hike or camping trip using rubber gloves if possible.
The best and sure way of getting rid of these poisonous plant oils is to give your pet a bath to decontaminate him. The choice of shampoo can be a mild one with warm water or a degreasing soap that should take the oil off. To prevent splashing water from getting into contact with your skin, use rubber gloves and protective shoes.
If you are dealing with a cat, known for its fear of water, your best option could be taking it to a vet for a less traumatic bath. Carrying a cat to the vet’s clinic may mean carrying in a bag and wear long sleeves clothes.
How to Treat Animal Rashes in Pets
The worst that can happen to your pet is the development of rashes because of their exposure to poison ivy, oak and sumac. The rash or rashes are treatable and heal within the shortest time possible. The moment you notice redness or blisters in your pet, get him into a tub, remove the remaining oil, and soothe the inflamed skin. Use your vets recommended Shampoo for removing the plant oil while at the same time relieve pain and itchiness that irritate.
After bathing the pet keep watching the pet and monitor if they show any signs of itchiness after bathing. If you must use any cream or medication for treatment make sure it is what your vet recommends.
After the bath and possible use of veterinarian-approved treatment, your pet should heal quickly. You only need to visit the vet if scratching and irritation persist. There is no need to worry unless the irritation changes to contract dermatitis or if the itching goes long into the night. If you leave the pet to scratch its skin, it leaves the skin raw or moist, therefore, inviting other opportunistic infections.
Extra Tips for Removing Poison Ivy
The most obvious precaution is to dress appropriately to keep your skin safe from the plants’ poison. When dealing with some of these plants, you will realize that some do have a complex root system that needs to be uprooted at least eight inches below the plant. Dousing where the plant was before uprooting with boiling water to suffocate the remaining roots.
Another alternative is to use a commercial herbicide. Ask your vet to show you the best that uses glyphosate, which kills the plants from the roots to the inside. Use of herbicides is less labor intensive because you only spray on the leaves as opposed to uprooting the plants with the only downside being leaving the roots behind giving the poisonous plants another opportunity to show up.
Once the cleanup is finished, use a degreaser or rubbing alcohol or vinegar to wash your gardening tools. Wash all the clothes you used separately.
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These Plants Should Not Curtail Your Movement, Go Have Fun
The emphasis you will notice from most vets is that exposure to any of these; poison ivy, oak, and sumac are not severe. So go have fun outdoors. Do not forget to be vigilant for you and your pets’ protection. Remember that a dog may act as a carrier to the poisonous oils, but when you get into contact with these plants, you will be more at risk than your beloved animals.