Essential oils may smell like a dream, but they’re a nightmare for pets.
The trendy elixir, often used as a form of aromatherapy, is landing both catsand dogs in the emergency room as the substance can cause shortness of breath,skin rashes and even liver failure, according to veterinarians.
Sadly, experts say that the rise in the oils’ popularity comes with an uptickin pets getting sick and even dying.
“I’ve seen a lot more cases lately,” says veterinarian Carly Fox, who works atthe Upper East Side’s Animal Medical Center. “We’ll see one every few months.”
One anguished cat owner recently brought the issue to light in a viral Redditthread about her kitten, Marie, who fell ill after breathing in essential oilvapor from a diffuser in her home.
About a month ago, the Canadian owner, who wished to remain anonymous, lefther home for three hours only to come back and find her feline “almost dead”and acting “limp and barely breathing,” she wrote in the thread.
“It was so scary,” she added. “It was horrible! I felt so guilty.”
After she rushed Marie to the vet’s office, doctors had to administer an IVand hook her up to a ventilator, a heartbreaking photo shows. Marie’s liverwas also seemingly in bad shape.
It remains unclear if Marie pulled through, but her owner knows one thing forcertain: “I’m done with them (essential oils) permanently across the board,”she wrote, adding that she believed Marie may have gotten close to or evenconsumed residue around the diffuser. She had 18 different types of essentialoils in her home, she said.
Inhaling the oils “can cause significant lung damage” for pets, with theworst-case scenario being “that they stop breathing and go into respiratoryarrest,” Fox says. Other issues can include burns to the respiratory tract,coughing, watery eyes and runny nose.
Ingesting and touching the oils are just as dangerous for pets. Chemical burnsand contact dermatitis can result from touching, while vomiting, diarrhea,falling over “like they’re drunk” and even liver failure, which applies mostlyto cats, can result from eating it, says Fox.
Phenol, a chemical compound found in most essential oils, is very poisonous tocats, Fox says.
But the issue remains that essentials oils are largely unregulated by the Foodand Drug Administration and they could contain a range of dangerous toxins.
What’s more, many pet owners who display potpourri in their homes don’trealize the plants may be coated in essential oils.
“People just leave it out and their curious pets get into it,” says Fox.
Essential oils aren’t the only in-vogue household item that could send yourpets reeling. Salt lamps are also a potential fatality waiting to happen.
“If your animal were to lick it, it could be extremely harmful and could causesalt toxicity” says Fox, which can result in “coma, seizure and even death.”
Source: By Melkorka Licea New York Post
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