HERRIN, Ill. (WSIL) – Aromatherapy can help people with many problems such as insomnia, anxiety and pain. However, some essential oils can be toxic to pets
“Essential oils are basically just concentrated oils of various natural plant products. They are in potpourri, they are in other smelling things in diffusers. They are even in some over-the-counter flea and tick products,” explains Dr. Jeffery Parton, Veterinarian at Quality Care Animal Hospital.
Parton says when it comes to toxic oils and pets, quantity is key. “Quantity and concentration come into play more than anything. I wouldn’t care about most of your aerosol diffusers for the most part, except for birds.”
Parton says that one common oil that can have negative effects on dogs and cats is tea tree oil. “Tea tree oil is also known as melaleuca and can cause depression, weakness, disorientation, and vomiting.”
Parton says that cats should also be kept away from incense sticks and that the oils should be used properly. “The biggest problem with essential oils is not to abuse them. Don’t overdo it. Don’t put them on top of the animal if you can avoid it, and under no circumstances let them eat them if you can avoid them.”
More than anything, Parton says they see abuse of flea and tick products that can be fatal. “We have seen deaths from these and we have seen some really serious neurological problems with these. The biggest problem we see is people who have taken dog-only, flea and tick control products, and them put it to a cat. That can kill a cat. “
Parton says if you notice your pet got exposure to essential oils, immediately wash them with Dawn Dish Soap and call your veterinarian.