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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18945
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I sprayed my entire house with peppermint oil on the advise

Customer Question

I sprayed my entire house with peppermint oil on the advise from a petshop. My indoor cat is now lethargic and has stopped eating. I googled and now know is toxic to cats. What can I do? Worried sick!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Did Bells have direct contact with the peppermint oil? Could she have ingested any?

How long has she had these signs?

When did she last eat?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, or vomiting?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks about 50 of 60 brands a minute. Seems slow. She is a rescue cat and although she comes to me I can't easily check her gums without stressing her. I will if really necess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Necessary. She ate a good breakfast 2 days ago and tonight I bought cat milk and she took only a few sips.I think it would have gotten into her fur and she would have ingested it while grooming. I spayed it everywhere and even Stan cleaned the floors and carpets with it. I sprayer the pet beds too... All the curtains and furniture! :(
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Brands per minute=breaths per minute
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has retched but that is normal for her. She has a congenital digestive problem
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry about the typos. Is that all clear?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

No worries, just give me a moment to go through each message and compose my reply.

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also I've seen her take a few sips of water but not as much as usual
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Ok, now I have read over everything you have sent along and I do have to say that I am quite concerned about Bells.

As I am sure you can appreciate, the main avenues of concern with this type of exposure are respiratory and gastrointestinal/systemic. If it was sprayed everywhere there is a risk of ingestion due to her licking any oil that got on her paws. That said, given her breathing rate this sounds more like a respiratory based reaction. In cats, we can see respiratory irritation and inflammation secondary to high level exposures of airbone/spray products like this. It can inflame and thus narrow the airways leading to respiratory changes and compromise. And this is our concern here for Bells since that breathing rate is nearly twice normal for a cat at rest.

In this case, if you have not done so already, she needs to be relocated to a well ventilated room. We need to get her away from that concentrated peppermint and get her breathing as clean air as possible. Further to this, since we have an abnormally high breathing rate, we do also need to think about getting her vet involved. They can put her on oxygen if she isn't severely compromised (which gum color can give us a clue for), start her on bronchodilators and anti-inflammatories to open her airway and get her breathing easier. And I would note that while her appetite loss is the most visible sign, it is likely just a side effect of her needing to focus on breathing. Therefore, once we help her catch her breath, her appetite is likely to return.

Overall, poor Bells sounds to be having a respiratory reaction to the peppermint oil. Getting her somewhere with clean air is important but if she is breathing at twice her normal rate, we do want to get her vet involved for the above treatment to avoid her developing respiratory fatigue or crashing on us.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you! I kept every window and did open did the last two days but not at night. I'll take her to the vet in the morning. I'm in Australia and its 10:30pm. I'll open the window in her room where she spends most of the night
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Meant I kept every window and door open for the last 2 days
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome,

I am glad that you have and hopefully that irritant is reducing in its potency. Otherwise, do keep an eye on her tonight (and that she doesn't slip out the window) and I do think having a check for treatment in the morning would be ideal.

Best wishes for you both,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks! The window has a mosquito barrier... She's not able to get out. She's breaking my heart. Thanks for your help!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome,

That is perfect. I am glad that there is, since kitties do always like to disappear before vet visits. So, do keep an eye that she remains stable and hopefully her vet can address this for her in the morning.

Take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Now this might seem weird but I called a psychic friend and asjed her for healing and advice. She communed with bells and a minute late bells came it of her room and I have her a broth which she gulped down. I am full of hope now. I'll see if I can attach a picture... I am amazed!Can't attach the pc I took. I'll hey in tallness to your email. Hope you get it because it's amazing
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Attached I hope
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

It did attach and I am very glad to see that she is more comfortable. Hopefully, we have turned a corner and she will settle for us after this respiratory insult.

Keep up the good vibes and good work with Bells,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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