Waiting and Hoping at 3:00 AM

I am watching my cat closely and have been now for about the last three hours. It is now 3:15 a.m. and I am afraid to sleep because I don’t want to leave my cat unattended.
Thank God my husband found your website! We purchased the Hartz Flea & Tick medicine for cats in a package of three seperate applications several months ago and while the first two just caused him to appear upset and annoyed at having some smelly products applied in a place he couldn’t well reach to lick off, the third application was not without serious effect, on both our kitty and on us.
Our kitty spends most of his days indoors but does go outside from time to time and when we noticed fleas, we applied the medication, as directed. Today we applied it around 1:30 pm and while he spent some time cleaning himself, trying to remove the smell and the oil, I didn’t think anything out of the ordinary had happened. I noticed he was acting strangely by about 5 or 6 pm, as he usually acts as my shadow, following me from room to room. Twice I called him and found him curled into a ball on my husband’s desk chair the first time and the second, on my bed, and if a cat could turn a shade of green, he would have been a royal emerald. When I found him, both times, he looked up at me with glazed eyes and gave a muffled “meow,” his movements slow and it was just apparent that he was feeling sick.
Had I not been distracted by other activities going on today, I may have made the correlation between his symptoms and the application of the Hartz product sooner, however it was not until my husband mentioned that Sam was ‘hiding’ in a small space behind the bathroom door and when later, I noticed him lying amongst my shoes in our dark closet that I recognized these behaviours as those of a sick or injured animal and feared what was to come next.
By coincidence today, I happened to pick up some non-tick repellant cat shampoo (Sergeant’s) that was on sale and was able to put it to good use after my husband discovered your website while searching for FAQ’s about the product and possible effects and read a few testimonies which mentioned that washing an animal helps. We bathed Sam right away and the funny thing is that he didn’t even seem to mind the water (and he always has in the past). It was almost as though he knew what we were doing and wanted those chemicals off of himself ASAP. He is curled up on my lap right now – kind of odd – he tends to give affection only on his terms and usually does not stay put for long when picked up so I am still a little worried. We cannot really afford a trip to the emergency clinic so chances are I will be up all night and have to spend some time at the vet’s office during regular hours – not exactly my idea of a great Valentine’s Day.
Reading others’ stories makes me both sad and so angry at a company so irresponsible and lethal. Why is Hartz still in business? My husband and I are now convinced that we must dedicate some serious time and effort to awareness about the dangerous effcts of these products in hopes that we may, in some way, prevent further incidents from occuring.
Growing up I was always in a household that contained at least two or more well-loved and well-taken-care-of-pets and while my parents have always been able to afford Advantage for their babies, my husband and I, being recently married and in our early twenties, thought we could save some money by purchasing an over-the-counter remedy. I remember staring at our choices and eventually going with Hartz over a couple of other brands which I either didn’t recognize or had just assumed that Hartz was a more trusted brand in pet care. Boy, was I way off the mark. Had I known that I was endangering the life or health of my cat, I could have cared less about the extra $20 or so I should have spent on Frontline.
I read that the products can cause kidney damage which can shorten the length of your pet’s life or cause permanent damage that can result in lifelong tremors or seizures. I am worried about my kitty but he seems to be doing better and I fed him some canned food (a treat he gobbled up) and some milk to hopefully absorb some of the toxins in his system.
We may be one of the lucky ones here and I do think that may have something to do with the fact that we didn’t apply the whole container, though it was directed, it just seemed like a lot. I can remember helping my mother apply Advantage to our pets and it seemed like a much smaller amount. I think that the excess amount of treatment may have something to do with some of the experiences. Let’s take this company down and expose their irresponsible ways!
On a different note, has anyone known a child to be exposed to this product? I can only imagine that it would be harmful to humans, especially children, as well…

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