What are Cinnamon Allergies?
The evergreen tree known as cinnamon is native to the country Sri Lanka. It is also native to India, Burma, and South America. In the West Indies, it was cultivated for its spice from its inner bark that had been dried. At one time, cinnamon was so valuable because of its many uses; in Egypt it was used for embalming, witchcraft, and essential oils. In medieval times on the continent of Europe, it was popular as a flavoring and also used in religious ceremonies. Known as the most popular and profitable spice during times of trade, today cinnamon is used for a variety of foods and the enjoyment of the aroma.
This popular spice has a scientific name of Cinnamomum and is a member of the Lauraceae family. Not only is it a very popular, aromatic spice, it is also a beautiful plant used in décor and landscaping. Many people know of cinnamon as being a staple in their kitchen cabinet. The spice is used for a variety of dishes, including entrées and desserts. It is also used in essential oils and in potpourri for its lovely scent. Although cinnamon does have many benefits to dogs, occasionally dogs can acquire a reaction from cinnamon potpourri or essential oil of cinnamon.
Cinnamon allergies in dogs occur when a dog is either allergic to cinnamon or cinnamon essential oil. Although this is not severe, it can be irritating to your dog, and veterinary treatment can help.
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Symptoms of Cinnamon Allergies in Dogs
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to cinnamon, when used for health issues on your dog, will more than likely be mild. Symptoms may possibly include:
- Mild diarrhea
- Upset stomach
- Skin irritations
- Redness of the skin
- Respiratory distress (when powder is inhaled)
- Low blood sugar
- Liver disease
- Abnormal heart rate
The benefits of cinnamon are many, but unfortunately dogs may be allergic to this spice. There are many types of uses for cinnamon. Uses may include:
- Helps regulate blood within dogs that are diabetic
- Used as a pain reliever
- Anti-inflammatory uses
- Raises energy levels
- Helps dogs which suffer from cancer
Causes of Cinnamon Allergies in Dogs
If you feel your dog would benefit from cinnamon, please contact your veterinarian before adding cinnamon to his diet or administering on his skin. The veterinarian may suggest a small test, such as a skin test, to be sure he does not have a reaction. Causes of cinnamon reactions include:
- An over-reactive immune system which targets the properties of cinnamon
- Hypersensitivity to the spice as it touches the skin
- Chewing on a cinnamon tree
- The ingestion of foods that contain cinnamon, such as desserts
Diagnosis of Cinnamon Allergies in Dogs
If you see signs of an allergy in your dog, such as skin irritation or a general feeling of illness, make an appointment with your veterinarian. If you know your dog ingested cinnamon or if you applied cinnamon to your dog, such as an oil form, or even if he ate cinnamon potpourri, this will be very important information for your veterinarian.
The veterinarian will perform laboratory testing which may include blood testing, urinalysis, and biochemistry profile. The veterinarian will also check the blood sugar levels of your dog and will check the liver to see if it is affected. Depending on your dog’s symptoms, he may also take a look at his lungs if he inhaled a high amount of cinnamon powder. If your dog had a reaction to cinnamon essential oil, your medical professional will take a look at his skin.
A diagnosis of a cinnamon allergy or reaction may be difficult to do if you are unsure that his reactions are caused by cinnamon. The veterinarian will ask questions pertaining to what he has eaten, if you have applied any topical solutions to his skin, or any other questions that may help him determine a diagnosis. In some cases, if the dog has ingested cinnamon essential oil or cinnamon potpourri, the cinnamon smell may be on his breath and that may alert the veterinarian to a possible cinnamon toxicity.
Treatment of Cinnamon Allergies in Dogs
Treatment of a cinnamon reaction, toxicity, or allergy, depends solely on the method of contact. Treatment methods may include:
The veterinarian may give your dog a bath using a gentle cleansing solution to remove the cinnamon oil from his skin. He may also apply a topical solution to help ease any irritation of the skin.
If your dog ingested cinnamon and vomited, the veterinarian may administer IV fluids to help with any dehydration your dog may have. IV fluids contain electrolytes and other solutions which may help with any liver damage and low blood sugar.
Your veterinarian may want to keep your dog overnight, depending on his symptoms. With the amount of cinnamon that he ingested, it will be important for the veterinarian to keep an eye on him and monitor his heart rate and other vital signs.
For long-term treatment, halting all exposure to cinnamon will be the one thing you can do for your dog to avoid a cinnamon allergy or any other harsh reaction. Do not feed your dog human food that contains cinnamon, keep them away from cinnamon potpourri, and do not use essential oil on his skin that contains cinnamon.
Recovery of Cinnamon Allergies in Dogs
In terms of recovery, your dog will recover once he is treated. Of course, every dog is different and treatment may take longer for some depending on the reaction. If your dog must stay at the hospital overnight, your veterinarian will keep in contact with you about his recovery.
Your veterinarian may have specific instructions on what you need to do at home in order to continue with any treatment, if needed. The one thing you can do is remove cinnamon from your home or monitor your dog so he does not come into contact with this spice in any form.
Cinnamon Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My pitbul is 7 months old I think she is having cinnamon allergies because she had it this morning inside the pumpkin and now her face is swollen and eyes are swollen too
Thankfully cinnamon isn’t toxic to dogs, but it may cause an allergic reaction; rinsing around the muzzle and inside the mouth to ensure that there is no residue would be a good initial step. You could try giving some Benadryl (1mg/lb two to three times per day) to see if it helps but If the swelling gets worse, the eyes are swollen shut, there is respiratory problems or any other symptom noted on this page you should visit your Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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