Tea tree oil has been used for years in the realm of natural remedies for various ailments, including skincare issues. Many people use it to treat infections and disorders, such as athletes’ foot, dandruff, fungus infections, stings, bites and more. As pet owners, we always strive to provide the best care for our furry friends, and when it comes to treating skin infections in dogs, the question arises: can tea tree oil be used safely? While tea tree oil does possess certain therapeutic properties, it is crucial to be aware of the potential dangers it poses to dogs.
Tea Tree Oil Hazards for Dogs
Tea tree oil is derived from a tree predominately found in Australia. This oil is used to fight against parasites, bacteria, fungi, and inflammation in humans. Many skin, hair and body care products contain this oil. The aromatic smell makes it very appealing as well. Many pet owners attempt to use tea tree oil to prevent fleas and ticks on their pet’s fur. This is not recommended and is highly dangerous to dogs, as the oil absorbs into the skin and leads to severe effects.
Dogs can also get poisoned by licking the oil from the bottle or licking their fur/skin after the oil was applied. Whether they ingested the oil, or it entered their bloodstream after absorbing into their skin, they can experience adverse effects. Mild symptoms can range from skin rashes to vomiting. More severe symptoms include aspiration from pneumonia, neurologic changes, and organ damage. If your pup has consumed tea tree oil or you unknowingly applied it to their skin without knowing the dangers beforehand, seek medical help immediately.
Symptoms of Tea Tree Oil Poisoning
Clinical signs of poisoning depend on the dosage and how concentrated the oil is. Potential symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
If your dog is experiencing tea tree oil poisoning, contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for medical help. Typically, oil poisoning in pets follows a similar treatment process. Do not attempt to induce vomiting as it could cayuse aspiration and pneumonia. The dosage, concentration of the oil, and when it was ingested will determine specific treatment. IV fluids may be given to combat dehydration. Anti-emetic drugs will help prevent aspiration. If you have further questions or concerns, call the experts at Pet Poison Helpline today.