Without checking with our Vet, I bought a pack of Hartz Ultra Guard Plus to apply it to our 2 year old “Azul”. I applied according to instructions, in fact my wife and I looked several times to be sure that we were applying it on the right spot on her back/neck. Azul immediately started trying to get her front paws to the application spot and she ran into a room and hid. After about an hour she came out still wiping the spot with her paw and licking her paw in that cleaning motion that cats use. She jumped up onto my lap and acted very strangely and began twitching. Her behavior continued to be unusual overnight and got to the point yesterday (Saturday evening) that I called the Vet. He said to immediately bathe the cat in lukewarm water using a mild detergent like Dawn or Ivory and after scrubbing her to rinse her thoroughly. He said it was very important to use extra effort on her paws, particularly between her toes and also the spot where we had applied the treatment. Also, it was important to rinse her mouth out.
Have you ever tried to follow instructions similar to that? With my wife holding Azul in a towel and me applying water in the kitchen sink and using the sprayer to water her down, I did the best that I could, in spite of the wounds that I incurred. She hooked her claws in my arm and shoulder but I perservered. Azul was screeching at the top of her little lungs, that is until I rinsed her mouth out. She jumped straight up but fortunately my wife had a very large towel and caught her in mid-air. After toweling her off, she ran into a walk-in closet and we did not see her until this morning.
I am very glad to say that she walked out and hopped on our bed like nothing had happened yesterday. I called the Vet this morning, he said that the bath evidently had worked, that we had caught the poisoning, and he called it poisoning, in the very early stages. He said that the toxic flea treatment had dispersed over her skin and would slowly soak into her body and it would eventually cause spasms and heart or brain damage if untreated. He said he gets “More than a few” calls and visits from victims of using that product.
The vet said to use nothing for a week or so, then to use a flea collar for a while and then to bring Azul in and he would apply a topical treatment that he is sure would not result in that reaction. He also said never to use Hartz and that the pruduct should be off the shelves because of the danger.