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Ferrets And Poison Ivy

Can a person with a poison ivy rash spread this to a ferret?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: August 1, 2009, 10:15 p.m. EDT

Q: Can ferrets get poison ivy from a person? Our little ones are kept inside, but poison ivy is showing up on my husband’s arms and now spreading. I told him not to handle the ferrets until it’s gone.
A: It is believed that animals do not react to the toxin urushiol, which is found in poison ivy. This oil resin appears to be the agent that causes the severe reaction and rash after exposure to this plant. Although it is believed that animals don’t react to it, it’s likely they can carry this oil on their coats, which can affect people if they touch a pet that’s been exposed.

This means that it is unlikely that your husband’s reaction to poison ivy will cause a problem in your ferrets. Also, your husband is unlikely to have the resin on his arms anymore, so there is no oil for your ferrets to be exposed to at this point.

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