• Bohle Veterinary Surgery
  • (07) 47516677
  • 181 Geaney Lane, Deeragun

Mould: Essential oils and cleaning products

Be careful what you use to get rid of mould.

With the wet weather event and flooding that we have been experiencing in Townsville, mould is becoming an issue in people’s houses.

We have heard reports of chemists running out of essential oils like cloves and tea tree as they are being used to combat mould.

Please be aware that essential oils maybe harmful to your pets.

Why are these products harmful?

Cats are particularly sensitive to poisoning from essential oils. This is because they lack a liver enzyme that helps break down certain compounds contained in essential oils. Whilst dogs do not lack this enzyme, they are still sensitive to essential oils and can become very sick if exposed to them.

How are pet exposed?

Exposure to essential oils can occur via ingestion (either by consuming the oils directly or through grooming), skin exposure or inhalation. The symptoms of essential oil poisoning will depend on the type of oil, the quantity and the way your pet is exposed.

Symptoms of poisoning

Common signs of poisoning as a result of inhalation (usually from an oil diffuser) include laboured breathing, lack of coordination and difficulty walking, drooling, diarrhoea, lethargy, depression, low body temperature, weakness, muscle tremors and vomiting. When essential oils are exposed directly to the skin, they can also cause chemical burns, redness and irritation.

Oils that are particularly toxic to cats include:

  • Cassia
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Clove
  • Bergamot
  • Basil
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Lavender
  • Melaleuca
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Pennyroyal
  • Spruce
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • Wild orange

Oils that are particularly toxic to dogs include:

  • Clove
  • Garlic
  • Geranium
  • Juniper
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen

What is safe?

Bleach

The bottom line is this: cleaning your pet’s cage or toy with a properly diluted bleach solution, followed by a thorough rinsing and airing out, is not expected to cause harm. If the odour of bleach seems overwhelming, open windows and use fans to air the room.

There are many cleaning products on the market, with a variety of different ingredients for cleaners, with varying degrees of safety. Always follow label directions for usage. After cleaning, please dispose of unused or dirty solutions, and clean and put away cleaning implements like mops. If you have questions about the appropriate selection or application of a product, please contact your veterinarian or the manufacturer before cleaning.

Carpet Fresheners
Proper use of carpet deodorizing products should not cause significant harm or injury to pets. Should your pet accidentally come in contact with the freshly applied powder, we recommend washing the paws with mild soap and water to avoid minor skin irritation.

Minor ingestions of carpet freshener powder generally results in a mild stomach upset. If a small amount is inhaled, minor respiratory irritation may occur, resulting in sneezing, coughing, or a runny nose. Because of this, it is a good idea to continue to keep your dog out of the room until after you have vacuumed up the powder.

Carpet Shampoo
Most carpet cleaning products can be used in pet households. Allow the carpet to dry before allowing pets into the area. This will help to prevent the risk of skin irritation or gastrointestinal upset.

Vinegar and Water
A solution of vinegar and water is used as an inexpensive alternative to commercial cleaning agents. Vinegar is typically acidic, and vinegar (depending on the solution concentration) acts as an irritant. Ingesting concentrated, or undiluted, vinegar can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, oral irritation and pain.

Most cleaning agents can be used safely in homes, as long as label recommendations are followed.

 

Some disinfectants such as F10 diluted to 1 in 250ml can also be effective against mould and bacteria and are very safe. If you are interested in purchasing F10 please ring Bohle Vet surgery on 4751 6677.