Rotenone in Dog Medication

Rotenone is an organic insecticide that has been voluntarily withdrawn by its manufacturer because it’s quite toxic, it’s dangerous to the environment, and there is some evidence that it causes Parkinson’s disease.  And there are safer choices.  For my post today I was thinking of posting about all of the places I could still buy rotenone, but after doing a web search I couldn’t find many – and most of the places I found to purchase it don’t really have it (I don’t think) – they’re just old pages that weren’t taken down.

But in my string of results I kept getting this one weird hit – something called Goodwinol ointment for dogs.  So I looked into it, and sure enough, there’s an ointment you can buy for your dog that contains    1.25 % Rotenone.  It’s supposed to be for mange, but no prescription is necessary, so anyone could buy it.  To me this is a little concerning.  Rotenone is some nasty stuff, 1.25% is a relatively large dose, and I’m not sure that most people using it would be careful to use gloves.  So I’m wondering, should this stuff really be out there?   

5 thoughts on “Rotenone in Dog Medication”

  1. peteducation.com has an article on Goodwinol with the following summary:
    “Goodwinol ointment is used to treat localized demodectic mange in dogs. Do NOT use Goodwinol ointment on cats… Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in breathing rate, muscle twitching, seizures, or coma while being treated with a rotenone-containing compound.”
    One of the other symptoms under the Overdose section is Death.

  2. What about Bonide Garden Dust? I found it for sale on the web and it lists rotenone among its ingredients. Amazon let me put it in my shopping cart as did another site.

  3. Good point Paige! Since I posted this I have found a few other places you can buy it — technically this is legal as long as the company selling it purchased it before the company producing it stopped distributing it.

  4. hi, i am concerned about the garden my step mother has treated with the bonide garden dust. It is very toxic to sealife, and when it gets washed off plant by rain or watering i’m concerned about it transporting to other plants and also entering soil and becoming part of plants make-up from absorbing it or whatever. we did end up getting diarrea at same time after eanting alot of greens from garden. any info. would be much appreciated , hard to find any online.thanks

  5. Hi Jeff,

    If I found the right product then it looks like your step-mother is using a mixture of pyrethrins, copper, and sulfur. The good news is that none of these things is taken up by plants so you don’t need to worry about that. The bad news is that if she’s really using this stuff as much as you indicate there could be consequences for the soil. The copper and sulfur could negatively impact soil life if this product is used frequently with heavy doses. In terms of the diarrhea, that was unlikely to have been caused by this product. As you indicate, if the garden is right next to a pond or stream and this product is improperly used it may have a negative effect on fish or other aquatic life.

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