Acute necrotizing dermatitis and septicemia after application of a d-limonene-based insecticidal shampoo in a cat

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Jul 15;221(2):258-62, 239-40. doi: 10.2460/javma.2002.221.258.


A 2-year-old female spayed domestic shorthair cat was examined because of lethargy, inappetance, vocalization, and abnormal aggressive behavior of 1 day's duration. The cat had been groomed the previous day with a d-limonene-based insecticidal shampoo. Skin lesions consisted of coalescing erythematous patches. Despite supportive care, the cat's condition deteriorated. Dermatohistopathologic changes included multifocal areas of acute coagulative epidermal necrosis. The dermis was infiltrated by a dense population of bacilli. d-Limonene toxicosis has been rarely described in dogs and cats. Toxic effects such as hypersalivation, ataxia, shivering, hypothermia, scrotal irritation, hypotension, and erythema multiforme major have been reported. Treatment for septicemia and disseminated intravascular coagulation, along with intensive supportive care, may be necessary.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cats
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Dermatitis / etiology
  • Dermatitis / pathology
  • Dermatitis / veterinary*
  • Erythema Multiforme / chemically induced
  • Erythema Multiforme / diagnosis
  • Erythema Multiforme / veterinary
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Insecticides / adverse effects*
  • Limonene
  • Necrosis
  • Plants*
  • Sepsis / chemically induced
  • Sepsis / drug therapy
  • Sepsis / veterinary*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / pathology
  • Terpenes / adverse effects*


  • Cyclohexenes
  • Insecticides
  • Terpenes
  • Limonene