Then, the next day she spent at the farm. When I was checking the belly, I found that her belly, groin and thighs were covered with large red patches.
These were not longer a few bumps, this I would call a rash.
My main question was whether this is a new reaction to something or next stage from the bumps. This could hardly be from jumping through bushes and it t looked quite menacing. However, it didn't seem to bother Cookie, just me.
Next morning I was calling the vet describing my findings.
His first thought was poison ivy.
Dogs typically don't get reactions to Poison ivy because their fur protects them from the harmful chemicals contacting the skin. On the belly and groin, though, there isn't much fur to speak of.
Other plant, which, according to our vet, is even more likely to cause contact dermatitis in dogs is Wandering Jew.
The main question whether Cookie's body can deal with this on its own or would need some further intervention.
By the end of the day, though, the skin looked better, though some new bumps started showing up. The redness was going down.
When I looked up what Wandering Jew looks like, it seemed very familiar.
|Wandering Jew. Photo Dave's Garden|
When we talked to the friend about what's happened, and examined their plant more closely, it turned out it is not Wandering Jew.
However, we found out that this year they're having an explosion of Poison ivy, suddenly growing everywhere.
|Poison ivy. Image wikiHow|
So there is likely our culprit.
The good news is, that now we likely know what's going on. The bad news is, how the heck do we protect Cookie from it?
The best strategy would be to remove the offending plant.
Well, it is not our property, it is large and the damn thing grows everywhere. So that is not likely to happen.
Second best strategy is to keep the dog out of it.
That's not going to happen either, short of having Cookie on the leash or tied up the whole time. She spent enough time tied up, we're not going to do it to her. Plus the best part about the trips to the farm is the freedom to run around, play and explore. How could we take that away from her?
Covering her body with something like a t-shirt would create a protective barrier.
I'm quite sure it wouldn't stay on very long, plus she still needs to pee and poo and if you expose the belly enough for that, how much protection is left? Though the groin and thighs would stay protected. We're looking into some doggy pants, but most of the same concerns remain.
The best thing we can practically do at this time is to wash her belly after the day at the farm, to remove the irritant.
The last time she was at the farm it seemed to have worked. But maybe she just managed not to go through the poison ivy this time. So we'll see.
Freedom or safety, that is often the question.
For now, we're going with freedom because we are sure that's what Cookie would choose. As long as the reactions aren't too dramatic, or we can keep them in checked by washing the belly, that's what we'll do. Hopefully this will get us through until the move. And hopefully we didn't have an explosion of Poison ivy on Jasmine's ranch too.
Did you run into a similar problem? How did you solve it?
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