WARNING tea tree oil can be toxic

Tia Maria

In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 10, 2010
Wiltshire - UK
Just a word of warning Don't use tea tree oil on your dogs or cats - probably not good for chickens either!!!!

My wire-haired pointer has a bad case of eczema for which we have tried most things

The other night her belly was looking really inflamed and sore so I mixed 4 (honestly only 4) drops of tea tree oil into half a cup of almond oil, I then massaged this into her belly
It quickly soaked in and she stopped scratching. Approx 3 hours later I massaged some more in as she was scratching again. The evening passed and we went to bed as normal.

The following morning my dog was in a dreadful state, hardly able to stand, her legs would give out on her, she stood totally hunched up with her back arched and her head dragged on the floor!!!! Straight off to the vet went we. It turns out that tea tree oil can be fatal to cats (always) and small dogs (often), fortunately my dog is large.

The vet gave her charcoal but said there was nothing he could do but wait, she had probably licked herself and therefore ingested some but even absorbing it through the skin can cause liver and kidney failure!!!!

Slowly over the next couple of days she returned to normal - but what a scare

Please be aware - in innocence I almost killed my dog
I'm sorry you had to learn this way, luckily your dog is large, like you said, and she is ok. Too often people give their pets medications, (or herbal supplements/treatments) that are intended for humans and the consequences are MUCH MUCH worse. If I had a nickel for every time I answered the phone at work (vet ER) and have someone ask if it's ok to give their pet some human medication, and when I say NO, they say "oh, what if I already did?"...


Again to the OP: I am SO glad she is ok, and you were able to learn this very important lesson without losing your beloved pet!
Not just tea tree oil, but ANY essential oil can cause death or distress. It can usually be used lightly applied in water as an aromatherapy for dogs (not applied to skin). Cats should never be exposed to it, not in any form or strength. I know some here have used the oils applied directly to skin, and that is greatly concerning. Animals have tougher skin than we do--but I think something like oregano oil is likely to burn them just as it does us.

I would be hesitant to use essential oils with birds unless a vet makes the recommendation~
Well, I'm aware this is an OLD post, but I'm so glad I read it. I have one hen whose feathers have been plucked naked on her back, and when I use a saddle they started on the points connecting her wings. I think the shoulder blades for humans? I had just bought a new canine anti-itch spray made of tea tree oil, and was considering using it on her. After reading this, I'm now also afraid to use it on a dog!?
The back on her looked so red and hot, yesterday I wanted just something to cool and soothe her, as if she were sunburned, so I used aloe. Today she looks way better.
FYI, we housed the over-breeding surprise attack rooster in his own pen and coop. I also removed a large Orpington hen who started "breeding" the girls just like a rooster. She lives with him now.
So this raw-backed little hen is separated from the flock, and indoors right now from the hurricane. I'm now going to research Aloe. Thanks so much for the warning.

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