Recently, one of my dogs kept getting a rash on his belly, in his armpits and under his chin. He kept rubbing his face on the carpet until he wore patches of hair off his ears and around his eyes. I was really puzzled by this, he never had any allergies before.
So, I put on my diagnostic hat and started thinking about it. The rash on his belly was red and especially bad under his armpits, the skin around his eyes looked atopic (like eczema) and it was all obviously itchy as he kept chewing at his feet and belly and rubbing on the carpet and shaking his head a lot. The rash was obvious as this dog always sleeps on his back…
I tried to think of what was new in his life recently…..food not changed, no new toys or treats…oh, yes, new treats. But, it seemed so local, this rash, only on his belly and face. Food allergies erupt all over. Flea allergies (not that he has any) show near the base of the tail. Then I noticed an area in the yard with a ground cover called Oyster plant, we had put it in recently and it was doing nicely. Hmmm….A little research on the internet, and I had the answer.
Oyster plant, otherwise known as Moses in a Basket and Boatlily, or taxonomically as Tradescantia bermudensis, turns out to be poison ivy for dogs. I saw that the bed had been enthusiastically plowed in the hunt for lizards and other interesting little animals that Elwood loves to find. Too bad, the plant was so pretty and made such a good ground cover for the area. Oh well, the plants were dug out and tossed into the yard waste bin to be hauled away.
Maybe ferns would look nice in that particular spot, but, I wonder if little ferns are toxic to dogs. I will definitely look into it before planting them. Perhaps I should look up the other plants we have in the yard, too. You never know.
Elwood is doing fine after a short course of Benadryl.