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More and more information has been coming out about the harmful effects that many popular essential oils can have on our companions. Essential oils are the concentrated liquids that come from plants. Many people use these oils for aromatherapy and alternative medicine; but they’re also used in cleaning products, certain food and drink flavorings, herbal remedies, perfumes, personal care products, and liquid potpourris used as home air fresheners and fragrances.

These oils can be absorbed both orally and on the skin, leading to them being metabolized in the liver. Why is this bad for our companions? Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and as such have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils. In fact, just a couple of licks or a small amount on the skin could be harmful to a cat. The same goes for dogs. As these toxins travel through their liver, health problems quickly follow.

Essential oils that are known to cause poisoning in cats include oil of wintergreen, oil of sweet birch, citrus oil (d-limonene), pine oils, ylang ylang oil, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, pennyroyal oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil. Essential oils that are known to cause poisoning in cats include essential oils, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang.

If you think your companion has come in contact with these oils, be sure to look for these symptoms immediately:

  • Fragrance or scent on hair coat, skin, or breath or in vomit
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty walking or uncoordinated gait
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Muscle tremors
  • Pawing at the mouth or face
  • Redness or burns on the lips, gums, tongue, or skin
  • Vomiting

If your companion has come in contact with essential oils, you must move quickly! First things first, get them into space with fresh air. Next, call us immediately at 719-481-3080! You may also choose to call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. Fast and aggressive treatment is essential to prevent any toxic effects.

In the future, please be sure to limit your use of aromatherapy candles, liquid potpourri, room sprays, diffusers, and applying it to your skin and then coming in contact with your furbaby.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately.

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