Tea Tree Oil
Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening
Common signs to watch for:
- Low body temperature
- Walking drunk
- Inability to walk,
- Increased liver enzymes
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil produced from the Australian tea tree plant (Melaleuca alternifolia). Tea tree oil is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, and possibly for its antipruritic, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic effects. Tea tree oil is often found in varying concentrations and high concentrations should never be used on pets. As little as 7 drops of 100% oil has resulted in severe poisoning, and applications of 10-20 mls of 100% oil have resulted in poisoning and death in both dogs and cats. Products containing tea tree oil concentrations less than 1-2% are generally considered non-toxic if used according to labeled directions. Clinical signs include a low body temperature, weakness, walking drunk, inability to walk, tremors, coma, increased liver enzymes, and even death.
If your dog or cat were exposed to tea tree oil, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.
Poison type: Herbals
Alternate names: Melaleuca, essential oils