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Tea Tree Oil

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Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

  • Low body temperature
  • Weakness
  • Walking drunk
  • Inability to walk,
  • Tremors
  • Coma
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Death

Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil produced from the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) plant. 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 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. 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