Death/Health issues of EIGHT PETS

Growing up I had heard about Hartz Mountain..dog food, cat food, turtlefood, bird food etc. had heard of ‘flea collars’, so when for the first time we had a ‘flea problem’ we went to the store to get products that were to control and elimanate the fleas…

the product we got was Hartz Control1 for flea n ticks….reading the directions…shake well before using, treat entire area using fine mist, allow to completely dry before walking in area, we were told over the phone not to let animals back in the area for at least ONE HOUR after spraying…

after spraying we kept the cats and dogs out of the area for SIX hours, we wanted to make sure all areas were dry, we even had fans blowing in all the rooms that were sprayed.

shortly after letting the animals back into the area…the cats started acting differently… Sir Spike, who usually is quite the ham became listless, his eyes lost their sparkle, he started twitching, moaning, gasping for air, had diarreaha, we use an eye dropper to give him saline solution and give him ‘O2″, which seemed to do some good…for a while…then just after I had gone to bed, I heard this horrid noise…Sir Spike was attempting to crawl into where Paul was sleeping…but he could not make it…he was screaming in pain, his head was arched back all the way to his back, he had NO control over the use of his legs, again he was gasping for air, fluid was coming out of his nose, there was no light in his eyes again, the skin around his ears, eyes, mouth…including the area around his teeth/gums… were pale, there was no pink coloring at all…with his sides heaving as he continue to fight to live the last gasp of air went out of his body…Paul refused to give up, for an hour more he continued to do ‘cpr’, trying to force air into Sir Spikes lungs, to get his heart to beat again, stroking and putting his face close, hoping for any sign of life…finally with tears pouring down his face he let me take Sir Spike away…. since it was well after midnight I had to wait till morning to bury Sir Spike… just as the sun was coming up I placed him between a might oak and a sturdy pine…

going back into the house I notice Mitzie was sitting on a chair with her head hanging down…I remarked to Paul that Mitzie was in ‘mourning’ for Sir Spike…MItzie was the eldest of all the cats, Sir Spike was only 7 yrs old… for most of the day she did not move from the chair, refusing to eat or drink, when she did get up, she had no balance…her legs gave out from under her… late afternoon while I was gone, Mitzie started screaming in pain, Paul was home alone with her and the other animals, she started throwing up, diarreha, thrashing about, gasping for air. Paul tried to comfort her, again trying to give her water and ‘O2’….nothing worked…her screams of pain grew louder until she just stopped breathing…I walked in the door just as she died…Paul came out of the bedroom with tears pouring down his face again, he didnt have to say a word, I knew she was gone, once again I had to go out to the might oak and sturdy pine, placing Mitzie a few feet away from Sir Spike, her campanion in life…

for the second night in around, both of us were unable to sleep, it was hard losing two of our ‘furry friends’, not really knowing WHAT had caused this to happen… we racked our brains WHAT??? HOW??
we knew that it had to be from something INSIDE the house, because NONE of the cats ever went outside!! only the two dogs…

about an hour after Paul finally got up from tossing an turning all night, he went to feed the rest of the cats…once again we were to go thru this horror! Little Bear started flopping over, unable to stand, his eyes lost the sparkle, Paul started yelling and I started screaming NO NO NO NOT AGAIN, NOOOOOO…. I grabbed Little Bear and put him in a box, wrapping him snuggly and raced for the door, grabbing my keys and shoes as I flew out the door…I put the box with Little Bear in the front seat next to me and drove as fast as I dared to get him to the vet….when I got there the vet took his temp which was 104, he had fluid coming out of his nose…the vet asked me questions, “had I given them anything new to eat?? what was the health of the other animals, I told him that two other cats has just died…please dont let this one die also!!!
he gave him a shot and then gave me some amoxicillian to give him once I got him home… I could tell in the short ride home that the shot was working…he had wrapped his paws/body around my hand and held on the whole way back home…
Paul was afraid to come out to the car when I got back…when he saw that Little Bear was doing better he just picked him up and kept talking to him…

now two days after I had sprayed the product, a fourth cat was acting different than normal, Baby was sleeping standing up on top of a window air conditioner…letting the full blast of cold air blow on him…he did come down to eat a tiny bit and to drink some water…then he would jump back up onto the air conditioner…in one of his jumps, he lost his balance…and ‘we thought’ he had bit his lip or tonge, cause blood started coming out of his mouth…we gave him an ice cube to suck on … he likes playing with ice cubes… and the bleeding seemed to stop…

later that day, talking with Paul I suggested that maybe we better take all the animals to be checked because by now Sammy, 5yr old Brittney Spaniel. had two open sores on his head and nose… I cleaned them out and put first aid cream on them, to this date they HAVE NOT healed up!! all these sicknesses and death started happening on 11 Aug ’03, it is now 6 Sept ’03!!! I called a local vet up, told him what had been going on…he said bring them all in… the vet checked the sores and stated at first he was not sure what caused them but they should heal right up…he did note that both dogs had lost weight…their ribs were sticking out…told him that Sammy had a mild case of diarreha and was panting very heavyly…seeming to stare off in the distence even tho he was sitting in the cornor staring at the wall…
Peanut, 7month old Shitzu, had lost weight but seemed to be ok…

When I had gotten home from the vet, I was telling Paul what had been said when I looked over at Baby…there was blood pouring from his mouth!!!…I grabbed him and raced back up to the vet…he was bleeding inside and had been for awhile…his weight had dropped from 22 lbs to 10.7 lbs. the vet kept him for two days…
Little Bear dropped from 22 lbs to 11.4 lbs… the vet kept him for two days
Mickey Moose was running a fever also and dropped from 25 lbs to 10.5 lbs … the vet kept him for two days
the three ‘boys’ will be two years old on 14 Sept ’03
Mama Squeek, the mother of the three ‘boys’, dropped from 18 lbs to 7.2 lbs she was able to come home…tho very upset not to have her babies with her….kept howling and looking for them

All six cats were Maine Coon Cat mixes, they are known for being BIG cats with many toes, only Mitzie and Baby had normal feet…the resthad 7-8 toes per paw…

while I was racking my brain to figure out what could have caused all this…my neighbor suggest I call Posion Control and talk with them…I told them what product I had used and when…they stated to me that this product was EXTREMELY toxic!!! I took the container of Control1 for flea n tick to the vet and he stated he had written several letters concerning the toxic ingrediance in this product…

Talking with Hartz, they asked me to ‘dig up and bring the cats to the vets to be shipped to a lab in Illinois for testing’ I could NOT dig them up, talking with animal control, they agreed to dig up the cats for me…not something they usually do, but in this case had no problem doing it. I did take the cats to the vet and they were shipped off. as of yet I have NOT heard from Hartz as to what the results are/were. they also asked me to send them the ‘receipt and product bar code’ which I did send the bar code but not the receipt cause it was thrown away with the shopping bag.

I know that this is a long story, yet it does not even touch how deeply the death of our cats has affected us, nor the continuous illness of the rest of the animal. Paul is terminally ill, the two cats that died were his…he had them from the time they were born…they kept him going after his heart attack/stroke/ and coma…their death has hit him very hard…depression that he can not shake…still calling out to them…Sir Spike used to curl up in the crook of Pauls arm when he slept or when he was on his computer…Mitzie knew when Paul was not feeling good and would use her body to warm the spot in his back that hurt the most, no need for a hot water bottle!!! even tho the rest of the cats are slowly gain some weight back, they still are not as playful and active as they were…there are days that they still are running a fever

we are hoping/needing a lawyer to help us with this case…since I have talked with friends of mine from all over the US I have been sent even more horror stories…. I really wish that I had heard about this before this happen… yes they had pulled this product off the shelf…but re-naming it and putting it back did NOT correct the situation!!!

Dr. Paul Brown,PhD & Barbara Hernandez

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