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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 signs. 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 signs he may be experiencing. This will also allow her to take a thorough look over your dog to evaluate his signs. 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 signs. 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 kidneys. 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 signs your dog is experiencing will determine his course of treatment. If his blood work comes back with abnormal values, or liver failure is possible, he will immediately be started on fluid therapy. Vitamin B 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, depending on the timing. 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 help bind and neutralize the toxins of the mint before the body absorbs it. If your dog is vomiting continuously, an antiemetic will be given to help stop the 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 may prescribe 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 beneficial. It might help to avoid 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 signs 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 some dogs do not respond to therapy. However, in some cases, if the veterinarian is able to catch it 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

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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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26 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

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26 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

thumbs-up-icon

4 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

4 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?

Mint Poisoning Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$500

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