Veterinary Clinics Can Benefit from the Use of Clinical Aromatherapy

Posted by Mark Kohoot on

Dogs in the wildWhen wild dogs, wolves, cats and horses are sick they seek out certain plants to eat in order to get well. However, as these animals became domesticated, they lost much of this instinct as their access to wild plants lessened.

Clinical aromatherapy is one way in which to safely give animals access to some of the same healing compounds they used to find in the wild.

One of the most useful essential oils we know of is lavender(1), especially as it pertains to stress management. Lavender oil has shown great promise in scientific studies on both animals and in humans for reduction of blood pressure(2) and cortisol levels(3) as well as a strong anxiolytic(4) (anti-anxiety) effect. For humans, the scent of lavender -- and orange oil(5) as well -- has led to the reduction of stress and anxiety in clinical environments such as dental offices and hospitals.

Lavender has shown similar results in lab settings for animals*. It is therefore likely that the diffusion of aromatherapy formulas containing lavender and orange oils, such as Ascents® Calm No. 34, in veterinary clinics, pet daycares or boarding environments, would have similar effects in veterinary operatories, treatment rooms or kennels.

Another use case for lavender aromatherapy as it pertains to animal health and wellbeing is vet clinic waiting rooms. For many animals and their owners, this can be one of the most stressful and overwhelming situations they encounter, even more so than actual veterinary treatment.

man and dog With many other animals and as well as humans in a closed environment, animals tend to become agitated (especially if they are already ill). This puts stress on owners, which in turn causes more stress to the animals, many of which are quite sensitive to the moods of their "people."

Diffusing a clinical aromatherapy blend like Ascents® Calm No. 34 into the air within veterinary waiting areas can help both animals and owners keep their stress levels down, creating a more relaxed environment for everyone.

The need for malodor mitigation is another concern for any type of medical or dental clinic but is often even more of an issue for veterinary clinics. While humans are able to more easily control undesirable odors, even when they are ill, animals often carry with them scents that are unpleasant, at least to humans and other types of animals.

The combination of cats, dogs, birds, hamsters, lizards plus a range of exotics can lead to a pervasive malodorous state that permeates the entire building. Diffusion of aromatherapeutic formulas which include lavender and orange, like Ascents® Calm No. 34, can serve the dual purpose of alleviating the stress of those in the clinic as well as reducing malodors without the toxicity of commercial air fresheners. 


high five catAlthough a fair amount of attention has been given to the use of essential oils in animals over the last few years, it’s important to note that the use of undiluted essential oils directly on any animal (or human!) is not recommended unless you are being advised by an experienced professional aromatherapist who specializes in the treatment of animals. This is particularly important for cats and birds, who are extremely sensitive to certain essential oils when they are ingested or applied on their skin. 

Instead, we suggest clinical-grade oils be diffused into the air via ambient means, such as that produced the Ascents® Diffuser, as this delivery method has not shown any potential for harm to animal or human populations when used as directed. Utilizing the Ascents® Diffuser in clinical settings also allows clinicians and staff to more finely control the scent output, and simplifies the use of aromatherapy in general as it requires no heat or water for operation.

 

For more information about Ascents® clinical aromatherapy, including other available Ascents® formulas, visit ShopAscents.com. To learn about Ascents®' parent company, and its commitment to clinical research, visit Aeroscena.com.


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[1] Effects of aromatherapy on sleep quality and anxiety of patients. Nurs Crit Care. 2015 Jul 27. doi: 10.1111/nicc.12198. [Epub ahead of print] Karadag E(1), Samancioglu S(2), Ozden D(3), Bakir E(4).

[2] The effects of the inhalation method using essential oils on blood pressure and stress responses of clients with essential hypertension Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006 Dec;36(7):1123-34. Hwang JH(1).

[3} Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:984203. doi: 10.1155/2012/984203. Epub 2012 Nov 19. Kim IH(1), Kim C, Seong K, Hur MH, Lim HM, Lee MS.

[4] Anxiolytic-like effect of lavender essential oil inhalation in mice: participation of serotonergic but not GABAA/benzodiazepine neurotransmission. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 May 20;147(2):412-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.03.028. Epub 2013 Mar 22. Chioca LR(1), Ferro MM, Baretta IP, Oliveira SM, Silva CR, Ferreira J, Losso EM, Andreatini R.

[5] Anxiolytic-like effect of sweet orange aroma in Wistar rats. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2010 May 30;34(4):605-9. doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2010.02.020. Epub 2010 Mar 6. Faturi CB(1), Leite JR, Alves PB, Canton AC, Teixeira-Silva F.

[6] The effects of lavender scent on dental patient anxiety levels: a cluster randomised-controlled trial. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2010 Feb;38(1):83-7. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0528.2009.00511.x. Epub 2009 Nov 23. Kritsidima M(1), Newton T, Asimakopoulou K.

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