8/1/2001 8:36 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff
See below for a complete list of products.
In last two years, Hartz brand flea control drops have been accused of making a number of cats and dogs sick. In some cases the drops were thought to be the cause of a pet’s death.
An Austin family had a scare themselves after applying a treatment of Hartz Advanced Care flea drops to their 5-year-old dog.
“He was just … kept bleeding uncontrollably; he was dizzy; he was nautious; he was throwing up,” said Barbara Warfield of her Gordon Setter named Zach. “He wouldn’t eat. He was so weak he couldn’t hardly stand up, and the little baby, I don’t think he would have lasted another two or three hours.”
After a trip to an emergency clinic and several trips to the veterinarian, Zach was still very ill. Shortly thereafter Frank Warfield, Barbara’s husband, saw a News 8 Austin report concerning the drops and realized the possible cause of his pet’s sickness.
The Warfields with their now healthy dog Zach.
“Channel 8 was on and I hadn’t sat in my chair 30 seconds until a veterinarian came on and said the dogs were experiencing nausea and vomiting and, you know, had all the symptoms he had,” said Frank. “And then she started saying that it was this Hartz medicine, and that was the first time I had remembered that I had given him that bath and I had put Hartz medicine on him.”
The Warfields gave Zach a bath and said they noticed an immediate difference. Afterward they called the Hartz Mountain Corporation and were surprised at the reaction they got. “They just kind of sluffed it off like they didn’t care or they weren’t interested,” Barbara said.
Environmental Protection Agency officials requested all reported incidents of cat and dog illnesses from Hartz in March. Currently they are reviewing that data and said it’s too soon to announce the possibility of a recall.
“It’s a question of trying to make sure that the label instructions are clear and there may be some changes in that regard, but I think that it would be premature to guess the outcome of this,” said Kate Bouve of the EPA, through a phone interview. “Our goal is to do an assessment of the best information available to us and to make the best scientific and regulatory decision
that we can based on that information.”
Hartz continues to stand by their products as effective flea control methods until there is scientific data from the EPA to prove otherwise.
Veterinarians recommend pet owners purchase flea remedies from clinics and not over the counter. There are many different brands and types of flea drops and veterinarians can help you determine the best treatment for your pet.