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What is Mint Poisoning?

Essential oils and aromatherapy have become increasingly popular over the years. Many of these oils are safe and beneficial to use on dogs; it is a very natural approach to healing. But before you use any essential oil on your dog, you need to do your research first. Not all oils are safe for dogs, mint being one of them. If you applied a mint essential oil on your dog, he may develop symptoms of toxicity and with some mint species, he may develop liver failure. Wash the oil off your dog with a detergent type of soap as soon as possible and get him to a veterinarian. If corrected early enough, his prognosis of recovery is good.

Mint is a common aromatic ingredient used in many products. In the form of an essential oil, it is extremely toxic to your dog. If your dog has been around mint and is now acting abnormally, contact your veterinarian.

Mint Poisoning Average Cost

From 566 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Mint Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of mint poisoning may vary from dog to dog. Symptoms may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your dog ingests pennyroyal mint, he can also experience liver failure. 

Types

Mint, also known as garden mint, belongs to the Lamiaceae family with the scientific name of Mentha spp. The two most common types of mint include peppermint and spearmint. There are about 25 different species of mint and are characterized by their aromatic property.  This herb does well in cool, moist areas with partial shade or full sun.

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Causes of Mint Poisoning in Dogs

The essential oils of the mint plant are what are toxic to your dog. It is too strong for them and when applied to their coat or skin or comes into contact with them in any way, they develop signs of toxicity. Some people use this essential oil on their dog safely but in its diluted form or with a carrier oil. If not diluted properly, your dog can suffer severe consequences.

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Diagnosis of Mint Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of mint poisoning are very vague; many things can cause the listed symptoms. There are a number of diagnostic tests the veterinarian may need to perform to come to a proper diagnosis. However, if you are able to bring a piece of the plant or the oil you used, it will allow for a quicker and error free diagnosis.

When you first arrive at the clinic, the veterinarian will begin by collecting a history from you. She will want to know any and all details of what your dog possibly could have come into contact with within the past 24 hours, either accidental or anything new you used on or near him. 

She will perform a physical exam on your dog to check his vitals and note any other symptoms he may be experiencing. This will also allow her to take a thorough look over your dog to evaluate his symptoms. She may decide to do some blood work for multiple reasons. One, it will give her needed information on how your dog’s internal organs are functioning especially since liver failure is a concern, and two, it will help her to rule out other possible causes of your dog’s symptoms. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel are usually the first tests to be run; it will give the veterinarian a status check of your dog’s major blood filtering organs like the liver and kidney. If your dog is vomiting and having diarrhea excessively, she may run a packed cell volume (PCV) to determine the severity of dehydration he is experiencing. Depending on the preliminary results, your veterinarian may choose to run more diagnostic tests for further evaluation.

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Treatment of Mint Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms your dog is experiencing will determine his course of treatment. If his blood work comes back abnormal and liver failure is possible, he will immediately be started on fluid therapy. Vitamin B and vitamin C may be added to his fluids to give his immune system the extra boost it needs to recover. The fluids will flush the toxin from his system in the most efficient and safest way possible. Also, the fluid therapy will correct any dehydration he may be experiencing or prevent it from developing.

Depending on the method of interaction your dog came into contact with the mint, his treatment may vary. If he ingested something with the oil on it or licked it off something, she may attempt to induce vomiting. This will rid your dog’s stomach of any remaining amount before the body absorbs it. If too much time has passed since ingestion and induction of vomiting is unsuccessful, she may administer activated charcoal. This will bind and neutralize the toxins of the mint before the body absorbs it. If your dog is constantly vomiting from ingestion of it, an antiemetic will be given to stop the constant vomiting and to offer your dog some relief. If your dog developed a reaction after the mint oil was applied to his coat or body, the veterinarian will immediately have him bathed with a mild detergent to remove as much as the oil as possible. 

If your dog has stopped vomiting and seems to be feeling better but still isn’t eating, the veterinarian will administer an appetite stimulant to get him interested in food again. She may want to keep your dog overnight to monitor his symptoms and continue administration of supportive therapies. Once he is feeling better, his lethargy should subside and should be ready to go home.

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Recovery of Mint Poisoning in Dogs

The use of essential oils on your dog can be extremely beneficial. It avoids over medicating your dog and substituting a pharmaceutical product for a more natural one. However, do not use any oil without proper guidance. Poisoning from mint in dogs may range from mild to severe. If you believe your dog is having a reaction to mint, the sooner you get him to a veterinarian, the higher his prognosis of a full recovery. If your dog is only suffering mild symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, his recovery should go well with the help of supportive therapies.

If your dog is experiencing liver failure, the prognosis for a full recovery declines greatly. Once the liver is in full failure, there is no cure and he will not survive. However, in some cases, if the veterinarian is able to catch is soon enough she can administer medications and therapies to stop it from progressing. Any damage the liver experiences may not heal entirely, but there are medications you can give your dog to promote healthy liver function. 

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Mint Poisoning Average Cost

From 566 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$500

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Mint Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Pit Bull

dog-age-icon

Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

N/A

He just ate some peppermint oil, will he be okay?? I would say it was maybe a teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons worth.

Aug. 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Hello, This isn't really toxic but can cause GI issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice any of these issues, it would be best to take your dog to your vet. They will be able to treat any issues that your dog may be showing from eating the peppermint oils.

Aug. 19, 2020

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Pit Bull

dog-age-icon

Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

N/A

He just ate some peppermint oil, will he be okay?? I would say it was maybe a teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons worth.

Aug. 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hello, This isn't really toxic but can cause GI issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice any of these issues, it would be best to take your dog to your vet. They will be able to treat any issues that your dog may be showing from eating the peppermint oils.

Aug. 19, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Pit Bull

dog-age-icon

Seven Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

N/A

He just ate some peppermint oil, will he be okay?? I would say it was maybe a teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons worth.

Aug. 19, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1 Recommendations

Hello, This isn't really toxic but can cause GI issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice any of these issues, it would be best to take your dog to your vet. They will be able to treat any issues that your dog may be showing from eating the peppermint oils.

Aug. 19, 2020

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Maltese

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Two Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Drowsy

Inhaled peppermint oil

July 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, If your dog is showing symptoms of toxicity, it would be best for her to be seen. Small dogs can be very sensitive to these things and would need to see a vet right away.

July 24, 2020

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Hiindu, Puff

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Chihuahua

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8 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

I made a bottle of spearmint (3 drops) to a spray bottle of water and used it on the carpets, will this harm my two small dogs? It accidentally got on their backs as well but only one or two sprays. I they had fleas and I read that spraying peppermint or spearmint on the carpets could ward the fleas away or kill them. I'm just worried about my dogs.

Aug. 17, 2018

Hiindu, Puff's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

That small amount of peppermint oil should not be harmful to Hindu and Puff, but if you are going to continue to use it, it would be best to use it while they are not in the room.

Aug. 18, 2018

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Ella

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Pin-Pom

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None
Energetic

So we have a rat in the house and I read that peppermint oil would help get rid of them. I did a couple drops around my bed because that’s where I heard it last night. The smell has taken over the house! Then I read how toxic it is to dogs and now I’m freaking out. My dog Ella is about 7-8lbs and she was sick the past 2 weeks. She was coughing, sneezing, and she wouldn’t eat. After I did the peppermint oil she stopped coughing and sneezing and she’s really energetic. I just gave her a bath in dawn dish soap. Should I be concerned?

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Quinoa

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Chihuahua

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6 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My 4lbs chihuahua was in our bedroom after a bath, and we had the dry sauna heating up in our room as well. We had a dish of essential oils in the sauna and the scent was getting strong. My chihuahua was getting cuddles and love and relatively calm. Then all of a sodden he vomited. I took him out of our bedroom right away, and is now sleeping on me downstairs. Should I rush him to the vet?

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Theo

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Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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2 Years

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Mild severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

Theo (2.5 year-old, 33 lbs) has been vomiting sporadically of late after being fine since we got him in February. At first we assumed it was food related (we give him the same dry food, but we mix in a spoonful of canned that we vary (to keep him from getting bored). But the more I thought about it, it *may* have coincided with mosquito season. We use a very diluted peppermint oil-in-water spray on us before we go out and sometimes on him when we come back in (more for odors than insect control--he already has a Soresto collar). I usually spray it on myself while he's waiting at my feet by the door. Sometimes he walks away and other times he mostly stays by my side. Again--not after every meal--he'll start licking the floor obsessively and eventually will vomit--anything he ate recently plus a lot of water that he's had. The vet did have us giving him pepcid (7mg) as a preventative before we had a visit, but after seeing a vet she said he was fine so we stopped and decided to "stabilize" what we feed him. He's fine immediately after he vomits. So I am really thinking it could be the peppermint spray. We will stop using it near him and I will report back. But any thoughts on the likelihood based on the symptom?

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Nash

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Border Collie

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None Yet

Hello! I added six drops of peppermint Young Living oil to my steam mop and then mopped my household. I have 65 lb Border Collie. Will this harm him? I am terrified?!

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Fiat

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German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Itching

I also made a toothpaste for my dog using coconut oil, baking soda, parsley, and peppermint oil. It called for only two drops of the oil and I only used it two or three times and her cheeks are now swollen and she rubs her face on the floor as if to relieve an itch. I have stopped using the paste but I don’t know what to do now. She hasn’t vomited or anything and her energy appears to be fine. Should I call the vet??? I feel so bad for my little girl.....

Mint Poisoning Average Cost

From 566 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$500

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