In August of 2000 I bought some Hartz flea & tick spray (I don’t remember which one, but it came in a little silver spray bottle) for my Doja, who is a Maine Coon. I sprayed him down with it and after an hour or two, I realized that his fur was still greasy from the spray and he wasn’t moving around very much. Doja was an excessively clean cat and would groom himself constantly, so I took him into the bathroom to wash the stuff off. While I was rinsing him off, he shook his head and blood splattered the sides of the tub. I FREAKED!! I woke up my roommate (who was a vet assistant) and she took a look at him. His gums were totally white, no pink at all, and she told me that was an indicator of shock.
We rushed him to the all night animal hospital and they went to work on him. I had just lost my job, and money was tight (I couldn’t even afford to pay the for the visit, much less any work they had to do). The vet said unless I could come up with about $300 (with no guarantee that he would survive) before 7:00 am the next morning, all they could do was to keep washing him off and try to increase his circulation by rubbing him. She also mentioned that this was their 6th case of an animal becoming sereiously ill from using a Hartz product in the past week. That’s almost ONE BELOVED PET PER DAY!!!
Luckily, Doja made it through the night. He was still in serious condition and the vet couldn’t say whether he would make it through the next couple of days unless he had the proper medical care. I still didn’t have the money to pay for the necessary treatment, so the next day, my roommate took him into work with her while I stayed behind to make some phone calls…. The first place I called was Hartz – which of course denied any responsibility, stating that alergy warnings are clearly marked on their products (although I NEVER saw ANYTHING mentioning shock and possible death). My next call was to a consumer affairs place, but they told me that unless I could prove that Hartz was the sole cause of my pet’s near death experience, there was nothing that could be done. In order to prove that this was indeed from using Hartz, I would have to pay for extensive blood work and multiple tests (which I couldn’t afford).
In the end, my roommate’s boss gave us enough medication for two weeks at no charge, and Doja slowly got better. I wasn’t able to get the tests needed to prove that Hartz almost killed my baby, but at least he is alive and healthy today.