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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Customer Question

What can I give to my dog to relieve the itch of poison ivy.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Actually dogs don't get poison ivy so the itching problem is probably something else.
It could be anything from ringworm (a fungus) to flea bite dermatitis, to mange, to a skin infection so first you have to determine the real problem before figuring out a treatment.
If you give some description of what you are seeing I may be able to help you with that.
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: After talking to my vet she said she could get poison. It is a red rash with very low raised bumps on the skin of her belly, mostly by her privates. She is treated monthly with Advantix and I haven't seen any fleas. She is down at the river weekly. I have seen conflicting reports as to whether dogs can or can't get poison. I don't know what to believe.
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Advantix says it stops fleas from biting within 5 minutes which means the fleas can bite the dog and that is all it takes to start dermatitis.
If you think it could be poison ivy best bet is to wash your dog (use gloves yourself) with a good shampoo after she is exposed to it.
You can try a cortisone spray if you think its poison ivy. They make those for pets and you can get them at pet supply stores.
If the water area your dog is in has a lot of water birds in it this might be 'swimmers itch' a parasite carried by birds and found in the water. Trematode parasites cause the freshwater swimmer's itch and both trematode parasites and nematocysts cause marine swimmer's itch. The lifecycle of these parasites includes birds and snails and sometimes mammals.
Another thing to consider is allergies.
Allergies are an immune mediated response by the animal towards a given antigen. Allergies can be caused by many things, including food, fleas, and the environment (i.e., grass or pollen). Symptoms often include red, itchy skin on the feet or groin, dry, flaky skin, excessive hair loss, reddened ears with a foul-smelling discharge, and weepy, watery eyes or a runny nose.
Veterinarians can identify allergens using skin testing and blood tests. A process of elimination will sometimes work so many people swap their pets over to a food such as Wellness Fish and Potato, California Natural, Blue Buffalo, Evo etc to see if that solves the problem or they may keep their pet away from certain suspect areas. In cases where these changes don't help, antihistamines are sometimes used. More severe cases can be treated with short-term steroids.
If you keep your dog away from the river and the problem goes away and doesn't come back that might be the simplest solution. If she likes to splash in water get her a hard plastic wading pool for your yard to entertain her.
Hope this helps!

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