We lost our cat Figaro in July. We thought we were using a safe product since it carried the Hartz name and was over the counter. We assumed it would be milder than the products from the vet.
We used the Hartz flea and tick drops on all three of our cats as instructed by the package. It was messy and seemed like alot of product to apply.
We left on vacation two days later and our neighbor fed and looked in on our cats while we were gone for a week.
Figaro was very skittish around strangers and our neighbor never sees him when she comes over. This was normal. She did however find two vomit spots on the carpet.
When we returned everything seemed fine except Figaro had two patches of dried/hard skin and hair sticking up on the back of his neck where we had applied the Hartz drops. We pulled them off and he went on his way. (Unbeknownst to us our children had caught the other two cats and wiped off alot of the product with a wet wash cloth – they couldn’t catch Figaro so his stayed on at full strength)
The next day was Sunday and late that afternoon my daughter watched Figaro leap to the top of the table and fall upon landing. He was twitching and was obviously having a convulsion/seizure. She called for me and my son and we came running. Figaro was still twitching as I grabbed him. He took two breaths and stopped moving annd breathing. He became extremely limp. I tried to resucitate him but was unsucessful. He was gone.
We called the emergency clinic and they told us to freeze him and take him the following day to our vet. What a mistake!!! Because we followed their directions an autopsy could not be performed. We looked Sunday night on the web (due to the dry hair) and were shocked at what we found.
We felt sure the Hartz product was to blame even though time had passed since we first applied it. There is no telling how many seizures he may have had while we were gone. When we told our vet what happened he felt sure that the Hartz was to blame since at a recent checkup everything was fine. However, we have no proof this was the cause and no case to sue over. Yet I feel sure this is what killed him.
My children and I watched our cat die in my arms and there was nothing we could do. We have decided we can help educate the public to this horrible danger. We tell everyone we can about the dangers of using this product.
I even told a client who had recently purchased Hartz for her two elderly small dogs. She got it because it was convenient. She had previously gotten all her flea and tick control products from the vet. She had been meaning to apply it for two days but something kept getting in the way. After we talked she immediately returned the product and was going to tell her friends.
Our cat’s death will not be end. Figaro is helping others because we are telling his story to as many people as we can. His death will hopefully help prevent others from suffering a loss like we have had.