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Readers Respond: My Pet's Encounter With Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac

Responses: 11


A common question on this site is if pets can "get" poison ivy. Not in the sense that humans do, with a intensely itchy, blister-filled rash like humans, but dogs and cats can transmit poison ivy, oak and sumac. This happens because the allergenic (toxic) part of these plants is an oil called urushiol and it is easily spread by fur, clothing and other surfaces.

Has your pet helped spread poison ivy/oak/sumac to human family members? Please share your story and any poison ivy tips you may have.

All About Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac - and Pets

Tell US What Happened


my dog developed a large spot on her head which started to ooze the next day. I took her to the vet and they said it was fungus! I used cortisone cream on it without treating her for fungus and it cleared in a few days. My 2 cats started having bumps on their faces which turned into hairless spots and i was told again by the vet it was fungus! i treated one cat for with fungal pills and the other did nothing they both got better at the same time! leading me to believe it was not fungus. I also developed spots which turned into incredibly itchy rashes again the my dermatologist diagnosed "fungus" and i was given aan oral anti-fungal which i decided not to take. I have had this rash for 2 months in varying stages and just recently found a new Doctor who diagnosed my rash as exzema! Well I have since walked the neighborhood where i live and have seen the poison ivy and poison sumac growing in the bushes that line our property where my dog walks every day!
—Guest sandra creighton

Dogs can definitely get it!

Zoe, my Dobe got it on her face, like up her noise. I guess cause hair almost doesn't exist there? I definitely have spots in my backyard that contain poison something...
—Guest D

poison ivy and poison sumac

My dog is an akita and since i adopted her started breaking out in red splotchy patches on her skin and foun out my backyard fence is covered in poison ivy and sumac bushes. I thought it was fleas but dont see any even when i bathe her and the cool bath seems to relieve her for awhile.
—Guest april missouri


my dog Roy a Jack Russell got poison oak no ifs ands or buts about it I was clearing land with 20 foot tall poison oak bushes I had mowed through a large rat nest intertwined with poison oak roots dripping with poison oak oilhe was chewing on the roots to get the rat .the back of his tongue with seared and developed blisters several days later large sores opened up on his face ears chest and front legs.he was unable to eat for several days due to the severe burning on his tongue and throat lips he had a severe case of poison oak!and he got the rat
—Guest Randy Martyn

poison ivy

My female small bed dog is sensitive to everything. She now has poison ivy really bad. So some dogs are susceptible to getting poison ivy oak sumac. Depends on the animal I guess.
—Guest reeds

Two dogs with rashes (from poison oak?)

Just to add more information, the rashes the dogs had included small pus-filled blisters, and after a few days the blisters turned into scabs.
—Guest Owen Howlett

Two dogs with rashes (from poison oak?)

After a walk along the river, two out of three dogs had poison-oak-like rashes on their bellies and groins, where the hair is thin. The rashes were exactly like the rash my friend got on her arms on the same trip (she didn't walk through any bushes, so she must have gotten the oil from petting the dogs). The third dog, who has longer hair, was unaffected.
—Guest Owen Howlett

You dont have any fleas

My dog is having the same symptoms, she's breaking out with bumps that faster,like poison ivy would break out on a human, but they are pus filled blisters that seem to be like pimples. I know i have no fleas, vet said poison ivy!
—Guest joe

Posion Oak

I have a 4 month old chihuahua who is broke out all over her belly and legs with Posion oak and all over her legs which she contacted from my husband's clothes. Benadryal and a 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water bath helped
—Guest Jillian

Poison Oak Shared By Horse

I used to be able on getting poison oak from my horse every year when we went trail riding at Pt. Reyes on the ocean. I'd get it on the inside of my arms, probably off her when I was grooming her. Thankfully nothing serious!

Dogs exposed to posion ivy all the time

My back yard has poison ivy or/and sumac. My dogs don't seem to have fleas but I broke out in a bad patch I got from their fur, and now they have bumps under their skin and are itching. There are scabs now. But it is just like my arm was. I've treated for fleas but don't see any. I've sprayed the furniture, bedding. I feel like I am itching (maybe in my mind) but I'm highly allergic to fleas, poison ivy and have a few bumps that itch on my back. I don't know if I've lost my mind but feel like something is on me all the time. My poor dogs. I've sprayed them with flea spray, drops on back. aloa vera and anti itch. Nothing works. Now I'm seeing patches. One is a doby the other is a wrot.
—Guest Janice

Tell US What Happened

My Pet's Encounter With Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac

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