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.
Last night I applied sergeants flea drops for cats and dogs to all my animals. All but one of them is okay. Lucky, was rushed to the vet last night having a major seziure. The vet new rite away what it was, THANK GOD! But he said it will be critical the next 24 hours, he called this morning and said he was still having them, just not as bad. But, he said we will not know the extent of the damage to his brain or organs until the medication works its way out of his system. Please people let’s work and get this stuff of the shelves and have the FDA investigate further. Today I blame myself just not knowing that this would happen. I keep crying. My animals are part of this family to and they should be treated like a human.
Kristin in Ohio
I picked up my new 9-week old lab puppy Tycho two days ago after work, and didn’t get home with him until around ten that night. We needed to get him some food, so we ended up going to Wal-Mart. As we were going down the dog aisle, we also picked up some stain and odor remover (for those puppy puddles) and I spotted some over the counter flea medication. Like so many others, my fiancee and I didn’t think much of getting the Hartz Ultra Guard flea and tick drops, and assumed that the only thing that could go wrong was that it just wouldn’t kill the fleas.
I applied it to him yesterday morning, and throughout the day he was perfectly fine. We took him to the vet to get him all checked out but the vet tech noticed some greasy residue in his fur (the flea drops) and asked if we had put anything on him. I told her what we had used, and she warned us about the possibility of seizures. I decided then that when we had the chance we would switch him to Advantage like my parents use on their dogs.
Last night I woke up around 3:30 in the morning to hear him whining in his crate. I got up, figuring he just needed to use the restroom. When I came out to his crate he was very hyper, wiggling around in his crate and whining at me. I let him out and he jumped all over me, wanting to be let outside. The night before, he had been just fine sleeping through the night and even when I took him out of his crate after at least 9 hours, he wasn’t as hyper as this. I took him outside, brought him back in, and he was still spazzing all over the living room. I stayed up with him for about half an hour waiting for him to calm down, and went back to bed.
At 7:30 he was whining again, so I got up for good and let him out. Again, he was jumping all over and barely let me put his leash on. I also noticed that he was scratching and biting on his legs, paws, and back more than usual. Concerned (maybe it was just the flea bites he already had that he was getting over, I hoped) I searched for something like “puppy still scratching after flea treatment” and stumbled across this website. After reading one or two articles, I dragged my 20 pound puppy to the bathtub and scrubbed him down with our Dawn dish detergent (Tycho smells like apples now) once.
He’s already started feeling better and he isn’t scratching all the time anymore. In the next couple days, my fiancee and I are going to go get some Advantage from his vet and throw the rest of that Hartz in the garbage!
Thank you very much for this website getting the message out as much as you can! You may have saved my puppy’s life!
Like many other people, we’re on a budget, trying to save a few dollars here and there. My mother went out to do grocery shopping and returned with Hartz flea medication. As with everything we buy for our two felines, I check online just to see if it’s okay. This was no exception. I’m extremely grateful for finding this site. I’m disgusted even looking at the box infront of me. I don’t want to think about what could’ve happened, had I not checked and we treated them the next morning. It saddens me that this product is still on hundreds of shelves across the country and several unknowing pet owners are treating their pets with this. I just want to thank this site for fighting and putting the truth out there. Saving a few dollars should never be worth the risk of your animals life.
Justice, our male short haired cat, born on THE September 11th, is now a different cat. This cat who was ALWAYS SO ACTIVE, now huddles in the corner in fear… from the day of his HARTZ treatment till now, 3 weeks later. I wondered why he did come when I called. There are often DAYS that go by when I don’t see him at all. He hides in the basement. I feed him (slight appitite), water, but he is a different cat. Sometimes he sits and just Meows when you are right next to him. I carried him to his food dish… he acts like his senses are messed up. He twitched just a little that first day (my wife had given him his drops between his shoulders, and I was away on a trip). She feels just horrible. We thought he would die. But, so far, no recurring twitching. But he has trouble walking, maneuvering, seeing, perhaps hearing.
This is SO VERY OBVIOUS that this relates to the Hartz product. There should be a class-action law suit. I just don’t know why they would continue to market this product. Somebody with deep pockets is going to sue them. And it is not about the money for most people… it is about getting rid of a dangerous product.
Hartz: Please listen to these stories. Any one can make a mistake. But, take responsibility. Reformulate, retest, and do what is right.. in the mean-time, pull your product.
I used Hartz Ultra Guard Plus, unaware of the affects it would have. I had recently moved into an apartment complex with my parents, and noticed alot of stray cats & dogs among the complex. Not having the money to spend on Advantage, I needed something quick to keep my 5 lb. chihuahua (Sable) from getting fleas. On the 16th of Aug I bathed her and applied the drops just as the directions say. Everything seemed quite normal that day but on the 17th we noticed she was shaking a bit more than usual. We thought that maybe she was jus cold as we had turned the ac on that day. On the morning of the 18th she was setting in the recliner with my mother, as she always loved to do, and she suddenly jumped down and started walking in circles. My husband jumped up & grabbed her to take her outside as he thought she may of had to use the restroom. He no sooner stepped out the door when she went into a full blown seizure. We quickly jumped in the car, as we drove she stayed in that seizure. When we got to the vets they took her immediately back and bathed her in dish soap, and gave her phenobarbital. He told us he was gonna administor charcoal to clean out what toxins was in her blood stream, and pain meds to help her with pain, but it was a waiting game to see if the seizures would stop. We went home praying she would be okay. A few hours passed and I called the vet and there was still no change, 6 pm that evening we went to see her. The vet told us she had vomited some of the charcoal up but the seizure or tremors were still happening. We went in to see her, and all I could do is cry. She looked so pitiful lying there, having seizure after seizure every few seconds. When Id say her name her ear would turn in the direction of my voice as if she knew it was me. I felt absolutely helpless, and at the same time I felt responsible. If I hadnt used this product on her, she wouldnt be going through this. After a half hour we went home. I prayed and prayed, walked the floor all night, holding onto hope that it was a good sign she responded to my voice, that the vet will call me with good news and tell me she’s come out of it. The morning of the 19th the vet called and my husband answered to only find out she had passed in the night. I sit here writing this in tears, same tears I shed that day. Sable was just a year old on the 13th of Aug, so she lived just 1 yr and 6 days. She filled an empty hole in my heart that had been there for years, and now she is gone. Upon contacting Hartz of the situation, they ask that I send in the rest of the product, bills,etc… and a monetary value for my Angel. How do you put a price on love? Unconditional love?….
We took Sable to The University and had a necropsy done, for peace of mind, and to know exactly the cause of her death. We have only a preliminary result, as it specifies:
Cerebellar herniation through the foramen magnum is concidered a significant finding and contributed likely to this animal’s reported clinical signs. (Cerebellar herniation: A condition that occurs when the brain is under abnormally increased pressure. The increased intracranial pressure forces the brain downward inside the skull. This results in typical neurologic manifestations (coma, paralysis and a unilateral dilated pupil). (Foramen Magnum: the foramen magnum is one of the several oval or circular apertures in the base of the skull (the foramina), through which the medulla oblongata (an extension of the spinal cord) enters and exits the skull vault.) Basically, from the seizures her brained swelled so much it protruded the base of the skull. The pain she was in was unreal. We are waiting for the histopathology reports to come back.
So I now live with the fact of making the wrong choice, and angry cause this product not only took my baby’s life, but made her feel pain that no animal should EVER feel. I made a promise to her, that I will do whatever it takes to make sure no other animal suffers at the hands of these products and I intend to keep that promise. If my story here helps one person, I know it’s a beginning or a start.
On September 9, 2008, HartzVictims.org was featured on the homepage of The Consumerist. Special thanks go to Darryl for contacting The Consumerist with the story of his and his girlfriend’s recent bad experience (and large vet bill to boot) with a Hartz flea and tick spray.
The full story can be read here.
A friend directed me to this site today when I told her I had given my kitten Hartz hairball remedy. Hours after I had given it to him, he started gagging consistently for 15 minutes. I took him to the emergency vet and they couldn’t find a thing wrong with him. He seems to be getting better… it’s been a couple of days and he’s still gagging but not very frequently. I’m going to call my normal vet today and ask them about this product.
I know that there must be lawyer, doctors, and politicians that have checked this site and felt ALL our pains. Let’s start to bring all this together. How do we fight this company? How do we stop others from going through the pain all of us have felt? Where do we begin? PLEASE email me to let me know who to contact and where to start. Auntangiel@yahoo.com
Do not use this product!! spend a few more dollars and get the frontline. It will save you money in the end. I used this on my dod and he emediatly started acting wierd, he would throw himself all over the place and pant non stop. We gave him a bath like the box said but it didnt help, we now have to hope he can make it till tomorrow and bring him to the vet