Your dog is your world, but she’s like any small child who doesn’t know any better — she will get into things she shouldn’t if she gets the opportunity. Dogs have a way of finding and getting into things that you would have never dreamed they would want to mess with. One of the items on that list is baby oil.
Yes, it is not unheard of for dogs to be drawn to bottles of baby oil. It really sounds gross — I mean how disgusting would that taste?! However, if your dog gets into your baby oil, it’s important that you know what to do. Let’s examine the facts.
What happens if my dog eats baby oil?
Baby oil is a product originally created for moisturizing babies’ skin. It was first made by Johnson & Johnson in 1935 and contained mineral oil (98%) and fragrance (2%). There is an unscented version available now, as well as a version with Vitamin E, and it’s available from many other vendors.
Baby oil is also used by some dog owners to moisturize their dogs’ skin, but is this a safe practice? What if your dog gets into the bottle of baby oil? Is it even all right for your dog to lick baby oil off her skin? Let’s see.
Petroleum hydrocarbon toxicosis in dogs is a reaction a dog has when they ingest refined petroleum oil products, or sometimes, when they are simply exposed to them. The reaction can be quite severe. These petroleum products can be fuels, lubricants, solvents, waxes, and petroleum-based paints and pesticides.
Your dog can breathe in petroleum toxins.
Benzene and mineral spirits can be inhaled, harming the lungs. They can cause pneumonitis, a mortal condition in which these products spread over the lungs’ inner surface and cause inflammation. Benzene and similar aromatic products can present as systemic toxicity.
Your dog can absorb petroleum toxins through her skin.
Gas or kerosene on or even near your dog’s mouth can poison her. Never put these products on her skin to remove paint or any substance, because you can make her very ill. Also, watch her when you’re walking her to make sure she doesn’t step in petroleum product spills. She can soak these in through her feet or lick her paws and ingest them.
Your dog can also get petroleum toxicity by ingesting petroleum products.
The last way your dog can get sick from petroleum products is to ingest these products. You wouldn’t think these products would be pleasant to eat, so you assume your dog wouldn’t bother with them. However, you should never assume anything about what she would and wouldn’t do, as she is a dog and doesn’t have the same smell and taste senses as you do.
What should I do if my dog eats baby oil?
You should see your veterinarian immediately if you think your dog has petroleum hydrocarbon toxicosis, so he can evaluate how serious the condition is. He will probably give her activated charcoal to decontaminate her body and neutralize the toxin.
If you acted quickly, the vet may also perform a stomach lavage (wash her stomach out). If she has become dehydrated, she may have to receive IV fluids.
Do not induce vomiting unless advised to do so by your vet. Vomiting can cause her to get aspiration pneumonia. This is a condition caused by stomach contents being inhaled into the lungs resulting in inflamed and infected lungs.
How much baby oil is likely to be too much?
If your dog licks the outside of the baby oil bottle and gets a little baby oil on her tongue, she should be fine, but be aware that any more than that, especially for small dogs, can cause gastroenteritis (inflammation of the digestive tract) or colitis (inflammation of the colon). Inhalation of any amount of petroleum product is very bad for your dog. Keep alert that she does not have access to these products.
What are the signs to look out for?
You’ve just gotten home. The baby oil bottle is chewed up, and there’s baby oil all over the carpet, but you have no idea how much is on the carpet and how much, if any, is in her belly. How do you evaluate the situation and form a plan of action?
You must be aware of what the symptoms of petroleum hydrocarbon toxicosis are, and then, you must know what actions to take, and not to take, if you see these symptoms.
What are the symptoms of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Toxicosis?
In some instances, dogs have no symptoms whatsoever other than some oral irritation. Hypoglycemia may present in your dog days after ingestion, and some of the following symptoms may appear. You may see oil in your dog’s feces days later, as well.
Some symptoms of petroleum hydrocarbon toxicosis you may see are vomiting, fever, diarrhea, disorientation, dizziness, slobbering, pawing at the mouth, depression, abdominal pain, coughing, gagging, labored breathing, and an odor of petroleum products.
Other symptoms that should send you to the veterinary hospital emergency room in a hurry, if you haven’t already left, are chomping, head shaking, instability, irregular heartbeat, and skin or gums that have turned blue or purple.
Hopefully, you are already at the emergency room at this point because the next thing you will see is respiratory arrest, possible coma, possible tremors or convulsions, and possible loss of bodily functions.
How can I prevent my dog from getting Petroleum Hydrocarbon Toxicosis?
You may not think petroleum products would be appealing, but dogs are different from us. I mean — think about some of the things they eat and lick. Ick! You should keep all petroleum and petroleum-based products put away in a safe place where your dog cannot get to them.
The most dangerous one of these products is ethylene glycol, a toxin found in antifreeze and brake fluid. It smells and tastes sweet. They will drink it up if they have access to it. It is quite a common cause of pet poisonings. Other products include fuels (like kerosene), solvents (like paint thinner), lubricants (like motor oil), and waxes.
Other products to keep away from dogs are petroleum-based products like certain pesticides and paints, essential oils, and baby oil, but aspirin, lipstick, and toothpaste among other items found in the household are also petroleum-based.
Some cases of petroleum hydrocarbon toxicosis can end in permanent damage to a dog’s body, especially if the dog has inhaled the toxins.