Lucky Strike, Hartz, and Epilepsy

My husband and I adopted Lucky Strike, a retired racing greyhound, in March of 2003. The adoption group told us that Frontline and Heartgard were the best products to use, but when we found out they cost almost $30 a month from the vet, we decided to go cheaper and get the store-brand. I had no idea that Hartz was anything but a simple generic / store-brand medication, similar to the store-brand ibuprophen that I use all the time.

3 hours after applying the flea drops down Lucky’s back, he started having little tremors. It looked almost like he was cold, but it was summer so I knew something was off. I called the vet and she told me that the chemicals that the OTC drugs use are the ones that vets used to prescribe 10 and 15 years ago. Since then, the newer, safer drugs have taken over, which have fewer side-effects.

She told me to get him in the tub right away and use Dawn to wash him down 3 or 4 times, in an attempt to get as much of the stuff off before any more got into his bloodstream. I did, he stopped shaking, and we went on our merry way thinking it was just a slight reaction. I went back to using Frontline and we just decided to deal with the cost.

In August of 2005, Lucky began having seizures and was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. Over the course of 8 months, his seizrues became worse and worse – at Christmas, we made a trip to the animal ER … he ended up having 14 seizures during a 21 hour period before the ER could get them stopped. In May of 2006, he had another cluster that they couldn’t stop, and we did the only thing we could – let him go. He was only 5.

I didn’t know about this site until just recently, but I have passed it on to my entire animal-loving family … within my family and my husband’s family, we have 20 dogs and 9 cats. I can’t prove that Hartz flea drops caused Lucky’s seizures, but after reading some of the other stories here, it seems a likely possibility.

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