I purchased Hartz Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops Plus (also known as 4 in 1) on 5/26/03. On 5/27/03 at 3:30PM, I put most (not all) of one tube on each of my two cats, following instructions to the letter.
After I applied the Hartz, I played with the cats for about an hour, to make sure there were no adverse reactions and to keep them from licking at the Flea Drops. They seemed ok, so I went back to work, and they went off to another room.
As a result, I’m not sure when Puddytat’s whole-body muscle tremors started. Orange had what the vet called “hyper-salivation” by the time we got to the clinic. Later, she began to have muscle tremors as well. It’s a good thing I was already at the vet’s!
I was working and didn’t pay any attention to the cats until 1:15AM, when my boyfriend shouted, “Oh my God, what’s wrong with Puddytat?!”. She was having severe muscle tremors. We immediately washed her, but the tremors continued.
When I called the emergency veterinary clinic, they told me to bring both cats in immediately. The clinic assistant said, “We see Hartz product poisoning all the time. It affects their neurological system. If you don’t get them in as soon as possible, they could go into seizure and die.”
I live in the country, so it was nearly an hour drive to get them to help. The ordeal lasted all night and into the next day. I went without sleep for over 24 hours. Both cats had muscle tremors. Puddytat was on IV drip and a number of drugs due to the severity of her symptoms.
My regular vet, who took the day shift caring for them, said that although he’d never personally seen Hartz poisoning, he’d heard a lot about it from other vets. Seeing the severity of the symptoms, he couldn’t believe that I’d used the correct product and asked to see the box. I showed it to him. All he could say was, “Yep, this is the right one.” and shake his head in disbelief.
When it was all over, I had two very weak, terrified cats and almost $500 in vet bills. What really amazes me is that the box says, “For cats and kittens weighing 10 lbs or less”. Not only did I *not* use an entire tube on either cat, but Orange, the cat with the less severe symptoms, weighs *over* 10 lbs!
Hartz needs to be stopped. God knows how many animals have already died after being exposed to their dangerous products.