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No itchy deer

Dear Mr. Alice:

We just came back from a very green vacation. Tramped through woods and fields and we all got poison ivy and were pretty miserable. But we also saw lots of animals around that didn't seem to be raiding our anti-itch lotion. Is man the only animal that gets poison ivy?

-- Lisa, out in the woods

Another advantage to being one of the higher primates is that we have a susceptibility to poison oak, ivy, and sumac. Dogs, frogs, not so much. In fact, a variety of birds and forest animals like bears, deer, rabbits, and muskrats find poison ivy berries and leaves pretty tasty fare. Their immunity to urushiol, the sticky resin in the plant's sap that causes all our miseries, could have been built up in the species since they need the ubiquitous plants for food. We, on the other had, have fish tacos and Milky Way Midnight candy bars. Grandma loves telling the story of the elf who scrubbed himself down with poison sumac to avoid a test at school the next day. Blew up like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon for about a week, but he never suffered from it after that. And remember that most animals have very thick fur that protects their skin from direct contact with urushiol.

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Dear Mr. Alice:

We just came back from a very green vacation. Tramped through woods and fields and we all got poison ivy and were pretty miserable. But we also saw lots of animals around that didn't seem to be raiding our anti-itch lotion. Is man the only animal that gets poison ivy?

-- Lisa, out in the woods

Another advantage to being one of the higher primates is that we have a susceptibility to poison oak, ivy, and sumac. Dogs, frogs, not so much. In fact, a variety of birds and forest animals like bears, deer, rabbits, and muskrats find poison ivy berries and leaves pretty tasty fare. Their immunity to urushiol, the sticky resin in the plant's sap that causes all our miseries, could have been built up in the species since they need the ubiquitous plants for food. We, on the other had, have fish tacos and Milky Way Midnight candy bars. Grandma loves telling the story of the elf who scrubbed himself down with poison sumac to avoid a test at school the next day. Blew up like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon for about a week, but he never suffered from it after that. And remember that most animals have very thick fur that protects their skin from direct contact with urushiol.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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