On Sunday, May 24, 2009 I gave my two Lhasa-Shiz-Tzu’s a Sergeant’s Gold Flea & Tick treatment. Since I had not used this item in the past, I decided to only give them a half-dose so I split one tube between the two of them. Within an hour, they both started to scratch at their neck/upper back area. Within two hours, they both were utterly miserable. They were whining, pacing, drooling, shaking, crying and panting. And without knowing I was doing so, I made it worse by taking wet towels and trying to rub the stuff off of them. I called the emergency vet’s number and was advised to bathe them in Dawn dishwashing liquid and give them 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of weight. So there I am, at 2:00 a.m. with my two babies in tub scrubbing like a madwoman. The vet had advised me to bathe them at least twice and preferably three times. They also advised me to watch them closely for neurological problems, such as seizures or uncontrollable twitching. If these symptoms began, I was to bring them in immediately for an injection.
The vet stated without hesitation that this is one of the most common calls that they receive. Enormous numbers of our pets are put through sheer hell by a company whose name we had no reason to mistrust. The vet went on to say that they just cannot believe this item has not been pulled from store shelves due to the high number of dogs that have horrific reactions.
As I write this, it has been just over 72 hours since they were initially unintentionally poisoned by me. Of course I feel terrible that I brought this upon them since these are my baby girls. However, my fear for them is now turning into extreme anger at the Sergeants/Hartz company for not having adequate warnings on their boxes. I am considering my next steps because I want to ensure that I don’t cover ground that has already been taken on by others. However, I am committed to making a strong statement to this company and I will keep a log of all I do, everyone I speak with and what, if any, changes are promised or made.
I am a federal employee and my position requires me to have contacts all over the country. One of my first steps has already been to begin spreading the word. And to each person to whom I speak, I end the story with “Tell everyone you know who cares about animals”. From what I can tell, in the past two days, I have spoken to at least two dozen people who have each told a dozen people and so on. Do the math. The word of mouth impact of this has the potential to be enormous if everyone does this one small thing. I plan to place notifications on craigslist as well as writing to my local paper with a letter to the editor to warn others. I truly hope they contact me and want to do a follow up story as I would be delighted to show pictures of these adorable girls and tell about the horror they endured.
I have not contacted the Sergeant’s/Hartz company yet as I felt it was too soon. I wanted to ensure my girls were truly going to be okay before I did that. One of my girls (Hollie Joy) is not eating well yet but Abbie Mae has her appetite back now today.
I would be happy to hear from others about what steps they have taken, what responses they have received and what future plans are in the works. I am so incredibly angry about this and I need to find a useful outlet for this anger as ranting and raving will do nothing for anyone.