Most people think essential oils are harmless or at the most mildly irritating to our pets, but is that true? Tina Wismer, DVM, DABT, DABVT, medical director for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center recently helped coach veterinarians and veterinary technicians at a seminar on how to help clients if they insist on essential oils for flea control. Here are a couple of take aways from her presentation:
1) Melaluca Oil: has not been shown effective against fleas and ticks and can cause skin irritation if improperly applied.
2) Pennyroyal oil: Google has many articles that say it is effective against fleas and ticks. This has not been proven, but toxicity certainly has. Pennyroyal oil contains a volatile compound called, pulegone, which is responsible for the plant's toxic effects. If pennyroyal oil is applied directly to the pet, it can cause depression, vomiting, hepatic necrosis (slow death of liver), diarrhea, epistaxis (bloody nose), seizures and death. Pennyroyal oil should never be used on animals.