Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Toxicology Tuesday, December 11

The holiday season is a hectic one. Don't add to your worries by putting your pet's health and safety at risk. Be sure to check your decorations and other seasonal items, like these simmering liquid potpourris, to see if they are

Toxic or Not

Answer: Toxic

[To be fair, the Hope Rose product said "non-toxic" on the label on the back of the bottle, but there was no list of ingredients, so I don't know anything about it.]

Liquid simmering potpourris, regardless of the scent or season, contain cationic detergents, essential oils, or both, and are one of the top 10 most common poisonings in cats, as reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Cats are exposed by licking the product directly from the container, or when cleaning their fur after a spill. (Dogs would be equally affected, but this seems to be more a
cat thing to do.)

Cationic detergents are corrosive, causing chemical burns of the skin, the mucous membranes of the mouth, or the corneal surface of the eyes. Signs are drooling, severe GI distress, skin or eye irritation, and general depression. Essential oils have similar signs.

DO NOT induce vomiting if your pet ingests liquid potpourri. The corrosives burn on the way up as well as on the way down, and can
damage the lining of the esophagus. Instead, dilute the toxin with milk or water and seek veterinary help immediately. Affected cats are usually hospitalized for supportive care, including pain management and supplemental feeding, for several days while the ulcerated areas heal. Prognosis for recovery is good, unless the esophagus is severely affected.


nina said...

I would guess "toxic"--only because they must be made from some oil based concentrate?
I could imagine some scents being very appealing to an animal, and also very potent.

littleorangeguy said...

I'm opposed to potpourri on the principle of smell pollution. I'd be happy if you told me I had a real reason to oppose the stuff.
Bah humbug.

Kathy said...

This question came up in my bird lovers group, since birds are sensitive to many smells. (A good smelling, bird safe potpourri can be made from sliced oranges, lemons and cinnamon sticks.) I don't think dogs would be that sensitive to the smells of these potpourris, but would get sick if they ate them. I don't care for the scents of most potpourris. They can give me an instant headache and queasiness. I'll guess toxic.

Mary said...

I am guessing toxic although I have not looked at the ingredients of liquid potpourri. If I would not think of drinking it, I wouldn't offer it to my dogs, either.

Anonymous said...

There is a sign in our veterinarian's office on winter threats to pets. Included are "liquid potpourris." It did not specify which flavors, but I'm guessing all are somewhat toxic.

Seems a shame, since cinnamon itself is a good supplement to doggie diabetes care, and peppermint is good as an antispasmodic.

KGMom said...

See--here's the disadvantage of being immersed in grading final exams.
I missed Toxic Tuesday.
Whew--I don't have any scented oils in the house--at least on this count, my pets are safe.