Pets and Plants
Next time your pet ventures outdoors--you may want to be cautious about just where those paws wander. Several plants in North Central Florida are causing a painful itch for cats and dogs. Some of the plants causing the animals' irritation include The Wandering Jew, Spider Wart and the Zebra Plant.
According to Veterinarian Dr. Jackie Casanova, what each of these plants have in common is Calcium Oxalate--which causes a reaction on the skin of animals that is similar to poison ivy on humans. Casanova says she's receiving at least one call a day from pet owners with itchy animals.
"Where the plant oils contact the animal, they will get a hot red rash, that itches like all get out, and it can quickly get infected, with a secondary bacterial infection, because they chew and scratch like crazy."
Casanova recommends washing an animal in warm water if it comes into contact with one of these plants. A diet that is rich in fish oils can also help reduce inflammation.
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