Paralysis and death to older cat

My home was visited by an old stray who had obvious skin problems. I spent some time online learning about mange mites after my own cat began to lose hair on his ears later that week – I had fed the poor scruffy old thing several times, and if not for fear of transmitted diseases, would have tried to bring him in. I discovered that many flea and tick drops also kill the mites that cause common mange, and not having a lot to invest, purchased some of the Hartz brand drops. I put them on the old cat’s neck that evening, with a hearty meal and a good snuggle session, and left him to sleep in the box of old clothes I’d brought him. The next morning on my way out to work, I found him stiff and cold, his eyes open – I assumed he had died overnight, and felt so bad. I felt immeasurably worse when I started to pick him up and he forced out this thin moan. He was paralyzed so completely that he could barely breathe, and couldn’t even close his eyes. He couldn’t blink. He couldn’t meow-his jaws were frozen open as if hissing or howling. I was horrified, and called in that I’d be late. I ran to the vet with him, where they told me Hartz flea drops often cause paralysis in weaker animals, and recommended that I put him down if was just a stray. I got the impression that there wasn’t much they could do, and what they might do would be extremely expensive and possibly ineffective. I have since been very reluctant to use ANY Hartz product, no matter how simple. I also have some fear of the drops from the vet, although they may be necessary if my other pets are to keep their fur in this flea season.
This has haunted me ever since, and my only consolation is that at least I gave him one good week at the end of his life after who knows how long on the street. He ate well, was warm, safe and was loved at least a little before he died this horrible death. Please tel anyone with pets to avoid this hideous secret killer of young, old and weakened pets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *