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Dr. Susan
Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6785
Experience:  8 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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My dog is a little out of sorts today following a vaccination.

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My dog is a little out of sorts today following a vaccination. She has a swollen neck. So when she got out of her bed and went downstairs to get on the sofa. I followed to check on her, in case she was sick. I leaned close to stroke her and she licked my face. I realised I had applied an antiseptic gel to my face 2 hours before. I have checked the gel and see it has tea tree oil in it. What should I do - I have heard this is toxic for dogs.
Hi, I can help you with your question today.
You are correct, tea tree oil/melaleuca can be toxic to dogs. The signs that we see will all be based on how much she ingested. Since it was only an ingredient in the gel (rather than pure oil), it is unlikely that she ingested enough to cause any problems. At most, we may see some drowsiness or ataxia (drunken looking walk).
I recommend monitoring her closely tonight. If you see any difficulty walking, she should be seen at your local vet. I would start with a physical exam, activated charcoal (absorbs any remaining oil in the GI tract), then supportive care as needed.
Please let me know if you have further questions. I am happy to continue until I provide the service that you seek.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. I don't know if you are in UK or not - but it is 1.00 am here and I am reluctant to call out a vet unless necessary. Monitoring is difficult as she is lying on the sofa. Would you recommend I stay up with her all night?

No, I'm in the US. I do not think it will be necessary to call the vet tonight. Of course I cannot give you a guarantee, but I expect that she will be completely fine based on how little she could have ingested. I would feel comfortable going to sleep.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.

You're welcome!
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