ALERT: Tea Tree Oil Shampoo Toxicity
Tea Tree Oil has gained significant popularity recently. It is often incorporated in flea and other insecticidal shampoos. Because it is fat soluble, it is rapidly absorbed into the skin and disseminated throughout the body. Unfortunately, it is listed as a substance with high potential for toxicity in dogs by the American SPCA Poison Control Centre.
Recently, AlphaPet saw a case of toxicity in a dog that had been shampooed with Tea Tree Oil at a local groomers. Fortunately, the symptoms in this case were just limited to excessive lethargy and the dog made a good recovery, but more serious cases can see muscle weakness and incoordination, depression, hypothermia, serious gastrointestinal upsets, including vomiting and diarrhoea, loss of consciousness, seizures and death.
Our advice is to avoid using such shampoos and instead use the much safer spot-on insecticides for flea control such as Advocate.