Vol. 14, No. 22 – July 28 – Aug 10, 2021 – The Pet Page

SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you’ve got items you no longer use.

SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two upcoming clinics in August are: Tuesday, August 10th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015, and a second one on Tuesday, August 24th at the Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036.

Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

Can Dogs Get Poison Ivy?

You and your pooch just spent a perfect summer afternoon hiking when you look over and see her rolling around on the forest floor in a cluster of what appears to be poison ivy. The telltale shiny, notched three-leaf vine clusters are known to make humans red and itchy. But can my dog get poison ivy, too?

“Yes, dogs can get a rash from poison ivy,” says Dr. Aziza Glass, Freshpet veterinarian in Houston, Texas. Although some of our furry companions may fare better than others. “Some dogs’ fur protects and keeps their skin from being in contact with urushiol oils that cause the itchy rash,” says Dr. Glass. If you have an old English sheepdog, he’ll fare better than a Chinese crested since dogs with thin, hairless, or short coats are more at risk of developing the rash.

If you’re fairly certain the offending plant was poison ivy or poison oak, the best thing pet parents can do is give their pooch a bath right away. “Be sure to have gloves on when bathing them as their coats may retain oils from the poison ivy,” says Dr. Glass. Also, use an oatmeal shampoo or an anti-inflammation dog shampoo that will not only remove the urushiol oil but also help to soothe their skin.

You’ll need to wash any towels you use, your clothing, and anything else your pup has come into contact with before the bath, like his collar, leash, bedding, or the back seat of your car. This will help reduce the transmission of oils to you, back to him, or anyone else in the family.

What are the Symptoms of Dogs with Poison Ivy or Oak?

If your dog has come into contact with poison ivy, physical signs to watch out for include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Scratching where the rash developed
  • Blisters
  • Restlessness, lethargy, panting heavily, or trouble breathing may indicate an allergic reaction that requires immediate veterinary care
  • Check areas of thin, short, or no hair where your dog is most likely to develop the rash such as the armpits, groin, belly, and even the nose.

Even more dangerous for your dog than developing the rash is eating the plant. “For many, it will give them an upset stomach. But for some dogs this can cause a severe allergic reaction that could cause your pet to go into anaphylactic shock, causing airways to constrict and prevent breathing,” says Dr. Glass.

This is an emergency that requires immediate veterinary care. If you suspect your dog has ingested poison ivy, watch him closely to see if he’s vomiting or has diarrhea. Contact your vet for advice.

After you’ve washed your pet, continue to monitor his behavior and check whether he’s still touching the rash. “If your dog is still scratching or trying to lick the rash, you can apply a cold compress to the rash area or keep a fan on your pet. The cool air will help to soothe the skin and reduce irritation,” says Dr. Glass.

If needed, apply the appropriate size recovery cone or cloud collar to prevent him from further irritating the rash area.

If your dog has been in contact with poison ivy, know that he can also pass it on to you or even your other pets. You can contract the rash from petting a dog’s coat who’s been exposed to the plant and still has some sap or oil on his coat. Your other pets can get it too if one of them rubs up against the pup with poison ivy or oak. This makes it crucial that you wash your pet and everything he’s come in contact with before the bath, including other pets, bedding, or furniture just to be safe.

The hallucinogenic portion of marijuana (and other things) is extremely toxic to dogs and cats.

By Dr. Cathy Lund owns City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats, in Providence.

We love our pets. That’s why we take care of their illnesses and protect them with vaccinations, and why we seek out quality foods and engage their mental health with visits to the dog park.

But giving them drugs or treatments that we think are safe can harm our pets. It is troubling when The Providence Journal publishes an interview with a local dog trainer that makes it seem as though marijuana is both safe and effective for many medical problems of dogs and cats.

Tell that to the young couple who rushed their 3-year-old Labradoodle to the veterinary emergency center after the dog collapsed from intractable seizures. The dog survived, but may have liver damage, all from eating two marijuana cookies. The couple had no idea that marijuana is toxic to pets, and certainly wouldn’t have given their beloved dog those “treats” if they had known the truth.

The hallucinogenic portion of marijuana, THC, is extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Our pets have many more receptors for these compounds in their brains, which is why the chemical can overwhelm their bodies. They can die from ingesting too much of this drug.

Interestingly, the non-hallucinogenic component of marijuana, CBD, may have some safe application in veterinary medicine, and when used under the appropriate guidance of your veterinarian, may be helpful in moderating pain and stimulating appetite.

We think of our pets as family members, and it is natural to believe that our foods and our medicines are safe. But how many of us know that chocolate, and even raisins, can be toxic to dogs, or that your cat might die from eating a single Tylenol capsule or a piece of a lily flower or stem?

Our pets are not people, and veterinarians are doctors for animals, trained to provide expert advice about what is safe and effective and what isn’t. Veterinarians know how important pets are to their families, and can discuss the pros and cons of various treatment options. What we will not do is recklessly promote the use of products that might injure our patients, simply because they are widely used in humans or perceived as some alternative, and therefore “safe” treatment.

No loving pet owner wants to hurt his or her pet, but we know it is tempting to try products or treatments out of a desire to find a cure or relieve pain. Your veterinarian is ready to provide the guidance and insight necessary to sort through what are often confusing and contradictory reports. As your pet’s health-care advocate, we absolutely want to keep your pets both healthy and happy.

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