Welp, it’s Poison Oak season again here in California and I don’t want to name any name, Dotty, but ever since we got her we’ve been getting THE worst outbreaks. Unlike other dogs we’ve had in the past Dotty insists on running into every shrub, bush and tall grass she sees and comes out dripping in invisible poison. Her exuberance when she sees me a couple of hours later always results in giving me horrible itchy outbreaks that are so bad it sometimes it makes me physically ill.
A few weeks ago I was having one of those bad outbreaks, laying in bed sick and itching all over. I was desperate to find some kind of product that is made to take off the urushiol oil from dogs without giving them a bath. I got on the google machine to research it and it turns out there is a product that destroys the oil so that it can’t cause an allergic reaction…it’s rubbing alcohol! You can also put it on your skin after exposure and then rinse it off with soap and water immediately after exposure and it breaks the oil down so it’s not toxic anymore.
I was so desperate during my last outbreak that I thought I’d try it even though it had been had been a few days since the exposure and I already had a rash. So I ran hot water everywhere to open up the pores, coated the itchy areas in the alcohol, let it sit for about 5 or 6 seconds and washed it off with soap and water. Can you believe that immediately the itching lessened and within and by the next day the rash was pretty much gone! My sickness immediately calmed down too. It was like a miracle! Britt’s poison oak was really bad and he used this method and it worked for him too!
So I realized I needed a way to get the alcohol onto Dotty out on the trail after hiking. The next week I got two spray bottles and put about a half an inch of alcohol into to it then added a few big squirts of dish soap and filled the whole thing up with water. I filled the other one up with just pure water and put them both in my truck. The next time Dotty went out into the bushes I sprayed her with my alcohol concoction and then took those thick blue paper towels and dried her off. Then I sprayed her with the fresh water and dried her off and I was done!
Also, for around the house, in case one of us didn’t do the spray bottle method, I have filled up a soap dispenser with the same alcohol/soap/water combo and I wash my hands and arms with it if I’ve been hiking. I also squirt it on a very wet wash cloth, scrub Dotty with it, use another wet wash cloth with just water to soak up the alcohol mix and then dry her off with a fresh towel. This has worked really well for us too and it’s nice to not have to drag Dotty outside at 9 pm to give her a full on bath.
Does this work tho? I haven’t gotten poison oak since! Happy hiking!