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D2006-25

Dear Daisy Dog

I am a Labrador mix, and I love to romp through weeds. My mom has never joined me, so I was surprised when she developed an itchy rash that looked like poison ivy. Could my fur have transferred the poison ivy oil to her skin?

Daisy Responds

You bet. My golden retriever brother Sam once gave our mom the same rash.

She didn’t realize poison ivy had invaded our backyard, so when Sam came in from playing, she gave him the usual hug.

A few days later, her face, neck and arms were covered with poison ivy rash.

Sam’s coat had transferred the poison ivy oil, called urushiol, during the hug.

Two of three Americans are sensitive to poison ivy, and 15 percent develop severe allergic reactions that require medical treatment.

To prevent such an occurrence, your mom should bathe you whenever she suspects you have poison ivy oil on your coat.

Afterward, she should wash any residual oil from her hands and arms using cool water and Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap or Dawn dishwashing liquid.

She should not use hot water, which will open her pores and allow the oil to penetrate her skin.

Even better, she should kill the poison ivy with a herbicide like Roundup. Don’t let her burn poison ivy, or the oil will get into the air and spread to everyone in the vicinity.

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