The best answer for this question is a maybe – the eucalyptus oil is safe and unsafe at the same time. The thing that shifts the weight between risk and safety depends on the usage. Keep reading to get more information about the oil.
The Eucalyptus Essential Oil
For many people (in the West), pets are dear. Pet owners give them food and places to stay as they would with any other person. Sometimes, we tend to treat our dogs a little too smoothly and end up putting them in risky situations.
In recent times, many pet owners have transferred human essential oils and now use them on dogs. Of the many oils, dogs have been given the eucalyptus essential oil without the owners looking at the oil’s benefits and weaknesses.
If you’re unsure about using eucalyptus essential oil, this read is going to give you loads of information about it. By the end of the read, you will have all the answers you need. Let’s get oiling!
What Are These So-Called Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the liquids that get extracted from various parts of a selected plant, and they often come out having more pungent smells than their parent plants. The extraction usually takes place via any of the two standard methods – water distillation or cold pressing. The plants from which the liquids are extracted have some medicinal value, which makes essential oils so, you know, essential.
Generally speaking, the oils are used as flavorings or fragrance enhancers in cosmetics. They are also appreciated for their antioxidant properties. When these oils are diffused into our surroundings, they help in dealing with free radicals, and in the end, they benefit us in terms of health.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil Specifics
As the name suggests, the oil comes from the eucalyptus tree, which is native to the Australian continent. Semi-dried or freshly-wet eucalyptus leaves are subjected to either of the two standard methods to be picked. The fragrance emitted by the oil is crisp and refreshing – one that makes you feel pleasant to the lungs. Now, here are several benefits of using the eucalyptus essential oil:
1. It helps in relieving joint pain when used a topical treatment (as creams)
2. It is also included in mouthwashes because of its antiseptic properties.
3. Many products that relieve colds and coughs use this oil to help reduce the congestion in the system.
4. The oil can also heal wounds because of its medicinal properties.
5. Research has shown that patients with fever, stuffy noses, acne, bronchitis, and asthma may benefit from the oil.
All the benefits are for humans, and whether or not they benefit dogs is a matter of investigation.
Diffusing Eucalyptus Oil Around A Dog: Is It Okay?
By diffusing, one spreads the aromatic particles in the air. This is done for the person (or dog, in this case) to breathe the oils. While diffusing the oils may be a good idea for us, it is not the best thing for dogs. The reason behind its wrongness is that dogs have powerful olfactory senses. Whatever we smell, dogs take it in a thousand times.
This means that if the oil is a little too strong, it will be irritating and unpleasant to the dog. So, if you diffuse an area with eucalyptus oil, ensure that the puppy does not stay there.
Associated Risks: What Bad Things May Happen To A Dog When It Makes Contact With The Oil?
If you use something like food or medicine on a dog without researching about it, the dog may be harmed. In the case of eucalyptus oil, here are the risks that your dog is likely to be exposed to:
1. If the oil is applied to the pup’s skin, the canine may get some chemical burns. Also, if the oil is present on the dog’s skin for a long time, it is likely to develop an allergy that will cause a lot of pain.
2. If the dog ingests the oil, its neurological and digestive systems will be disturbed to a particular level.
3. Diffusion of the oil around the dog means that a lot of irritation will happen. The irritation will then trigger some behavioral issues, and the dog can wreak a lot of havoc.
What Are The Pluses Of Using The Oil On Dogs?
While there may be negatives associated with using the oil on the dog, there are also positives, which include:
1. If you use some little eucalyptus oil during the dog’s shower (in the shampoo), it will keep the canine off ticks and fleas. If they are on the dog’s body, the oiled bathed will kill all the bugs.
2. If your dog’s skin is damaged by itching or the bites of an insect, you can blend eucalyptus oil plus others. The mixture will have a soothing effect on the dog’s skin.
3. As you clean up the dog’s bowel and bedding, you can add a little oil to the water.
Tips On How To Use The Oil Safety – Maximizing Benefits While Minimizing Risks
As you use the essential oil with your dogs, here are some of the things that you should keep in mind:
1. The oil should not get anywhere near the muzzle of the dog. This will prevent the dog from ingesting it.
2. The oils should not be used on puppies or pregnant bitches as they can cause a lot of harm.
3. Before you get to use any type of essential oil, you should talk to a vet to give you balanced information.
4. Stick to using the oil for about a fortnight. Then, take a pause and go to the vet. They should be able to assess the dog and tell you whether you should continue or not.
5. Do not use it on the dog’s open wounds – that only works for humans.
As mentioned in the kicker, the primary source of eucalyptus oil is the plant. It is included in many products as a scent, for flavoring, and its antiseptic properties. If a dog ingests too much of this oil, it is likely to experience many gastrointestinal discomforts, manifesting in symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. On top of that, it also behaves like a neurotoxic, and so, neurological problems like seizures, depression, and confusion are likely to show. So, if your dog ingests something with the oil or the eucalyptus plant itself, you need to get it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Eucalyptus Oil Poisoning In Pups
Here are some of the signs that are likely to manifest when your pet ingests too much eucalyptus oil:
|Signs That May Show – Eucalyptus Oil Poisoning In Dogs|
|Seizures||A weakened or rapid heart rate||Shallow or rapid breathing|
|Burning in the mouth (pawing at the mouth)||Muscle weakness||Loss of appetite|
|Low blood pressure||Pinpoint pupils||Lethargy|
|Dilated eyes||Excessive drooling||Difficulty swallowing|
On top of those tabulated symptoms, the oil may cause redness and itching of the skin.
A Focal Point: Eucalyptol
Eucalyptol, a natural compound, can be found in some plants but little or smaller concentrations. These plants include camphor and cherry laurel, rosemary, sweet basil, cannabis, and bay leaves.
While some of the listed plants – like cannabis and sweet basil – have little amounts of the chemical, others like the laurel have as much eucalyptol content as the plant itself.
Dogs Poisoning Diagnostics
If you have seen the dog ingesting a product or plant with the essential oil, you first need to identify it. Once you do, you will have a better chance of diagnosing the afflictions of your pet.
If whatever caused the toxicity cannot be identified, your vet would ask you many questions about your dog’s recent eating behavior. They will also ask you to tell them any supplements or prescriptions that either you or the dog have been taking.
If you mention eucalyptus oil, the vet will also need the amount. You can get the information from the packaging – you should take the bottle (if the oil is bottled). With that, the vet will get a good picture of the eucalyptol and any other toxins.
The vet will also pay attention to the symptoms exhibited, and he or she will again run urine and blood tests.
Treating The Poisoning
Since eucalyptus oil has acidic nature, you should avoid inducing vomit if the dog took an overdose. If you do, you may cause further damage, and the end could be fatal.
If you find any oil remaining in the dog’s eyes or skin, you should rinse those areas so that adverse reactions do not occur.
Once you get to the vet hospital, treatment will, for the most part, start with the action of gastric lavage. Then, the attending expert will use activated charcoal to ensure that any remaining toxin is soaked up. While that happens, you should know that if you are dealing with oil ingestion, the vet will need to do the gastric lavage action when the dog is under anesthesia. Although that is the standard procedure, it comes with exposure risks – the lungs and the windpipe may be exposed to the oil.
To adjust any of the imbalances that come about, the vet is likely to go for general supportive measures like combinations of electrolytes and sugars and IV fluids to help with possible dehydration. Some stimulants and laxatives may also be given to ensure that the toxin is sped out through the system. After the intense medical procedures, the dog may be given some pain medication and antihistamines to reduce the swelling, itching, or any intense pain.
Post-Treatment – Recovery Of The Essential Oil Poisoning In The Pups
The most apparent, obvious thing to do is to keep the dog in a calm and quiet setting – this will be the first of many ways to getting them well. Then, you need to provide a lot of fresh water and also more bathroom breaks.
Since the patient may be recovering from general anesthesia, it may have problems with coordination. The dog will be disoriented and confused for a few days because the toxin from the oil disturbs the central nervous system.
The final thing should be isolating the dog from children and other pets. That should go on until the dog is off the prescription drugs and all the toxins are clear of its system.
Dogs And The Essential Oils They Need
This section will open you up to some of the other oils (apart from eucalyptus oil) that dogs can use. We shall look at them in terms of what issues they address.
1. For Dogs With Ticks And Fleas
Many people have opted for essential oils in flea removal products as they are more natural. Chemical-based collars and traditional shampoos, which have been popular for the longest time, are no longer favorites. If you look at the market, you will realize that it is flooded with essential-oil-based products for treating ticks and fleas.
Of the many, the essential oils include thyme, citronella, cedarwood, and juniper essential oils. Reports have it that many vets use juniper oil in their everyday practice because of its known insecticidal properties. On the other hand, products based on thyme and citronella are considered safe options for tick problems. When you get an essential-oil product to treat the two main external parasites, you should use them in low concentrations, more so if you’re dealing with sprays and collars.
If you want a cedar wood-oil based product to treat ticks and fleas, you need to source them with particular care. Once you get a product in a store, you need to ensure that it uses Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar) oil. Beware of Melia azedarach (or White Cedar) as it may be toxic. Ensure that you take a keen look at the labeling before you buy the product.
Another option that you may consider is lavender oil-based tick and flea sprays. However, you need to ensure that concentration is verified before you start using the product. This is because lavender acts as a toxin and should only be used in low amounts.
2. For Dogs With Arthritis
You don’t need to use anti-inflammatories and painkillers if your dog has rheumatism. One of the best oils noted to work on arthritis well is frankincense oil. In 2012, a study was done to investigate the effects of frankincense essential oil. The findings of the study were impressive – the oil showed improved symptoms of arthritis and canine inflammation in more than 70% of the subjects. If you get the natural kind of anti-rheumatic arthritis, your pet may live its final years peacefully.
3. For Dogs With Itchiness
Itchiness is among the most common ailments that trouble canines. If your dog is suffering from extreme irritation caused, you can use some essential oils like the one extracted from helichrysum.
This type of oil has been tried, tested, and trusted to help dogs with wounds and itchy skin patches. The one thing that makes helichrysum oil very trustworthy is because it is non-toxic.
Unlike those containing helichrysum, many other treatment products use chamomile, marjoram, and lavender to treat canine itchiness. However, those are laced with toxins, and it would help if you avoided them.
4. Safe To Help Dogs Remain Calm
Aromatherapy is one of the ways you can use essential oils to get dogs calm. The one thing that you may already know is that the dog’s sense of smell is a little more robust and helps the canine perceive the world.
If you want to alter your pet’s moods in the most natural way possible, you should consider using calming essential oils. Any mixture or product which will exhibit particular relaxing properties will prove useful. You can diffuse frankincense and lavender essential oils to impress the olfactory senses of the dog.
I know that lavender has already been identified as toxic if ingested or applied topically. However, it has been noted and reported to be safe if delivered by way of diffusion.
Other aromatherapy oils can help dogs dealing with anxiety, stress, or conditions that are tension-related. Essential oils like those extracted from bergamot and lavender are beneficial since they have stress-relieving and anti-anxiety properties.
What you should do is spray the oils in an indoor space where your dog is. The entire time, you should ensure that the dog does not come into contact with or ingest the oils. Like people, dogs may react indifferently to the fragrance emitted – some of them may not even like it.
5. Safe For A Dog’s Skin
Like our skins, that of canines is prone to irritation and dryness. If you get a product that mixes coconut or almond carrier oils plus helichrysum, things may get better for the dog’s skin. Several pet parents and dog owners have diluted the oil and applied one or two drops to help ensure that irritation is reduced and the area is moisturized.
As you use the oils to take care of the canine’s skin problems, watch out for allergic reactions. Before you use any essential oils to take care of the dog’s skin, ensure that you talk to a vet.
6. Safe For A Dog’s Hot Spots
If you don’t know what hot spots are, here is the description: these are types of irritation that happen on the skin and may be triggered by stress, infection, fleas or mites, or allergic reactions.
Although there is no clinical data in support, many pet owners who have used frankincense and helichrysum oils to treat hot spots have found them beneficial. Because of the scientific inadequacy, you should talk to your vet about using the oils. You can use coconut oil – which is a carrier oil – to the affected place.
7. Safe For A Dog’s Allergies Of The Skin
Of all the propositions captured in this section, using oil to help in dog-related allergies is tricky. This is because some of the oils are allergens themselves. This means that using them may exacerbate the problem.
Therefore, the best thing for you to do is talk to your vet before using oil on the dog’s skin.
8. Safe For A Dog’s Odor
Although dogs are lovable all over the world, they sometimes smell awful. However, the undesirable fragrance and wet dog smells can be taken care of by some essential oils.
You can use either one or two drops of diluted citronella oil into about 11 ounces of water. You should then spritz the areas where the dog has left its odor so that any disgusting scent is masked and eliminated.
9. Safe For A Dog’s Bad Breath
If you look at scientific developments in recent years, experts have attempted to draw a line between the foul breath of a dog and essential oil usage. These researches have borne ripe fruit, and in 2013, a study noted that pepper-Rosmarin oil has antimicrobial properties. This is as a result of its high thymol levels.
When the dog was given some mouthwash containing dilute pepper-Rosmarin, its lousy breath was significantly reduced. This means that the oil can help promote healthy dental health and also take care of gingivitis.
10. Safe For A Dog’s Seizures
As of now, little or no research has been done to say whether or not seizures can be treated using products containing essential oils. So, the only recommendation that you can rely on is from veterinarians.
One vet expert on pets and essentials oils has it that you can use a product containing frankincense, Ruta, ocotea, ylang-ylang, and dorado oils to treat neurological conditions, seizures, and anxiety in dogs.
If you take an online trip, you will realize that there are many claims – regarding dogs and pets – that contradict themselves. If you look at the products in the market, you will discover that many of them have the wrong kind of essential oils. The point is that finding the safest product is just an idea and getting the most credible information is challenging.
The one vital thing that you should know is that there is a massive difference between human and dog immunity. If one type of essential oil works for you, that doesn’t mean that it will work for the dog.
You need to get safe essential oils like helichrysum and frankincense. Whichever you choose, ensure that you use it in dilute form. And finally, do not make any decisions without consulting your vet.