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Pine sol for flea control
illinoislady posted:
A question was asked on another site regarding using pine sol to get rid of fleas on a dog. I answered "NO" and said that I did not think it should even be used to clean out a litter box. I was really told off and told that I did not know what I was talking about. Is pine sol o.k. to use on pets for flea control and to clean litter boxes? Am I wrong?
Thanks for the input.
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
Hi Ilinois Lady.

I don't have any pine sol lying around of I would check the label but I wouldn't put any cleaning solution on a pet. It is not meant to be ingested. Often these solutions are very basic and can cause the gentle mucus membranes like the mouth to be burned.

As for the litter box, I have used it before but I flush, flush, flush with warm water and try to dry the litter box in the sun. I have been moving to more organic cleaners for the litter boxes. But I really use lots of water whatever I use to clean and if I can dry them in the sun to somewhat sterlize them, so much the better. I scoop my litter twice a day and clean them out perhaps once every couple of weeks.

Dr. Sandy
4Watermonkeys responded:
The label on Pine Sol states clearly to avoid contact with skin. Inhalation is another big issue and contact with the eyes is especially dangerous - I'm not sure how an individual could ensure with 100% confidence that they would not get the product in their pet's eyes. The company also makes it quite clear that it is dangerous to consume the product - is the pet likely to lick itself after applying the product? (Yes!)Personally, I'd recommend that the individuals that told you off take some time and put some effort into reading the label on Pine Sol as well as review the information that Clorox (the company that makes Pine Sol) provides. The product is NOT meant for skin contact (which is why they recommend wearing gloves), therefore, why would anyone want to bathe their pet in it?!?
srstephanie replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Hi Illinoislady & Dr Willis,

I think I've heard so often that the "sol"s (e.g. Pinesol, Lysol, etc) were all very toxic to cats ... that I assumed it was fact ... but admit I've never looked for studies to verify it.

I just did a quick check on PubMed and there was an article in 1986 in a journal that isn't published any longer (Veterinary and Human Toxicology). The title is: "Acute Pinesol Toxicity in a Domestic Cat". Here is the short abstract:

The clinical, pathological and toxicological findings in a cat poisoned with Pinesol, a household cleaning agent, are reported. Clinically severe depression, with unresponsive pupils and extreme ataxia were observed prior to death. Pathologic changes consisted of severe acute centrilobular hepatic necrosis and renal cortical necrosis. Pinesol specific fatty acids and isopropanol were found using gas chromatographic analysis of kidney and fat. It was concluded that the cat died of Pinesol intoxication.

Here is the link:

So, it appears that Pinesol is toxic. I agree that I wouldn't want to test any of the other strong cleaners like Lysol or Lestoil anywhere near my cat. I follow your example and anytime I use something stronger than water, I make sure I rinse very thoroughly and then dry it.

Stephanie in Montreal
illinoislady replied to 4Watermonkeys's response:
Thank you so much, and thank you Dr.'s. I just do not understand some people. This man was just so nasty when I posted that I did not think it should be used.
4Watermonkeys replied to illinoislady's response:
I hope you plan to follow up with that individual and share the information that Dr. Sandy and Stephanie provided. The information is pretty cut and dry - hopefully the guy will "see the light" and stop endangering his pets.

Sorry to hear that you had to deal with such a nasty individual - but, on the bright side, your effort to set the record straight with him will educate any that read your posts so hopefully others won't be naive enough to try a "quick fix" that is harmful to their pets.
shanemac304 responded:
I realize this post is two years old. I just wanted to add my two cents for future visits. It is a PROVEN fact that pine sol DOES kill fleas on contact! It is the eucalyptus oil that does it. Almost every flea product on the market is toxic to an animal if it eats it. There is always a right way and a wrong way of applying. We give our dogs a pine sol bath (diluted or course). Then wash them with shampoo. Been doing it for years and our animals NEVER got sick! You can also buy eucalyptus oil straight in a bottle. We also put undiluted pine sol in a bottle and spray our whole house inside and out. This includes around window ledges! We spent hundreds of dollars on DANGEROUS chemicals (ortho, bug b gone, fogger's, ect.) and NOTHING worked! We were told fleas become immune and to keep switching products. After a friend told us to try pine sol, we never looked back! If the man who told you off, is applying pine sol undiluted to animal, shame on him! Stories get twisted around from person to person. Everyone knows how that goes. Its a shame people are so angry now a days. I'm sure someone will chew me a new one, but I don't care! I know it works! My pets and entire family was so miserable because of these pests.. Hopefully someone else will find this info useful! Don't take my word for it! Search online for (pine sol fleas). Hundreds of people cant be all wrong!
naterecon1911 responded:
Miss Illinoislady-gal. I'm not up on veterinary practices. However I was a combat life saver in the Army, and since returning home in '08 I have been active on 3 volunteer fire departments/first responder and currently on my local Community Response Team. Now do not take my advice to the grave. But in my experiences I wouldn't reccoment using pine sol on any animal! I always just buy spray that kills them all, however I have to be careful because momma had her first litter on july 4th! She had 11! Even in that case, you have to be careful what shampoos you use and tick and flea sprays, you want to keep those chemicals away from the teets, or your pups will consume those chemicals, but that doesn't sound like that you are running into. I would recomment a flea and tick spray, I bought mine at wal mart, can't remember if it was hartz or what, but its in a blue bottle, it worked great! I just wouldn't advise pouring an all purpose cleaner on your dog. we live at a farm where the ticks are abbundant, we just regulary dip them and spray them down with the flea and tick killer spray. In my opinion its a risky move to douce your pet with a household cleaner.Besides the sprayi think the best, easiest, and most comfortable for all involved is to obtain a good flea dip and try to get as many off as you can, ticks can be removed fairly easy, if you're careful. As far the little box... call me old fashioned, but I wouldn't introduce a cleaning agent to my cats litter box. When I was raised with the responsibility of taking care of a cat, was when the litter needed to be completely erased, we would either use a mild temp detergent to clean the box, or if it was a bit dirty, we used bleach... just make sure you rinse it out real good, especially if you have a black cat! In my opinion.... if it matters... you have two choices, you can go to the vet and pay the equivalent for a new car (not bashing animal hospitals) or you can try to figure out what works for you and your pet. I'd start off with something really mild, like dog/or cat shampoo. been told the organicbrands work really good, the kind with oatmeal, but thats here in ks. And finally the litter box, i'd use whatever you need to use to clean it... 409, bleach, kerosene... whatever, just as long as its rinsed thoroughly so there's no residual chemicals that your cat may get complications from. Again, I'm not Vet, but I've had quite a bit of experience taking care of my animals on the farm. One more trip... If you ever get dogs or puppies that you can clearly see from their droppings that they have worms, especiallly new borns; an old farmers cure I learned was to take some long leaf chew, like redman (gold is the best and less harsh tasting) and spit the tobacco into their drinking water. Not enough to make them sick but just a good couple slugs in their water. The tobacco will kill the worms. I did that with my one year old pup when we first got him, and the worms went away, guess the tobacco kills the worms, so that saved a vet bill! Sorry for rambling I hope you can get this taken care of... even though I just saw this is 2 years old. I pray for you everything has turned out ok. Feel free to hit me back, not sure how this works, so here's my email . if you have anymore questions or curiosities about back woods remedies, feel free to drop me a line! Thanks to listening to my rambling! I hope I can help you with this, if not maybe I can help you in the future.Take care and best of wishes! Nate
naterecon1911 responded:

personally I wouldn't add any cleaning product to an animal. I have two outside country dogs. we just spray them down with tick and flea killer then give them a bath in an organic bath with oatmeal, partially because momma just gave birth to 11 pups on 4th of july. I've never heard of using pine sol on any animal and to my, being unexperienced in the chemical make up of pine sol and the adverse effects it my have. I would stick to the shampoos that are for ticks and fleas. Granted if you get it at wal mart, you're not getting the best. May have to opt for a PetSmart or the like. I sure wouldn't drench myself in pine sol and wouldn't do it to my animals. However, on an unrelated note, just FYI. I did learn an old timers trick, when I first got my pup about a year ago, you could see worms in his feces. So I resulted back to the OLD OLD days, and just bit off a plug of chewing tabacco, chewed it up a bit, then spit in their water. The juices and tabacco will kill the worms, after a week no more worms! Just a little fun factor, just make sure you don't over do it, when your dog has worms the last thing they need is a nicotine overdose! lol. just hold off for a couple good spits and let em go in their full water bowl, a few strands of the chewing tobacco doesn't hurt either. My dogs took down Redman Gold Blend the best. Just a country remedy for you. Hope I could help a little bit.... 2 years later! Good Luck to you and yours!
annehewitt responded:
I have a 15 year old, 16 pound mix dog that is so active and alert, everyone thinks he is a puppy. I dilute one part PineSol with about 10-12 parts water in an empty dishwashing bottle, squirt it on him, spray with water and suds up. Have been doing it for years. It was the only thing that finally stopped fleas. I wash his bedding with it and the floors.
He tolerates it very well. Much better than dog or human shampoo. Anything with Sodium Laurel Sulphate or any sulphites or sulphates will make him cry out and resist. Almost all sudsing products have those chemicals. Not Pine Sol. There is something in Pine Oil, terpenes I believe, that evolved to prevent insect , bacterial and fungal infections in trees. All the old timers in my part of the Blue Ridge put turpentine...(.also terpenes) on their skin to treat any cut or wound. I have no question that it is toxic if ingested.....pretty much any soap is.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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