Hartz Vectra 3D

An alert reader sent me the following in regards to Hartz’s Vectra 3D:

“I don’t want my name or info published but I am very much in favor of what you are doing here and I thought you should know that Hartz has launched a new permethrin based product that is extremely toxic to cats. It is called Vectra 3D and it is sold through DVM’s. The umbrella company that they are marketing it under is called Summit Vet Pharm, but if you “google patent search” the main ingredients, you will see that it is a Hartz product. As a pet parent, I was very upset that they would try to do an underhanded approach to get their bad reputation skirted.

Here is a link to their website:


Here is a link to the patent:


26 thoughts on “Hartz Vectra 3D”

  1. It’s unfortunate because they are ADAMANT about getting their products out to vet clinics. They’ve been trying for YEARS to get their products approved by the AVMA :(
    I’m a vet tech and I give out this website to clients that worry about money and therefore buy these products. I have no problems with it. I just wish the message about these products was out in the mainstream media a little more :/

  2. Vectra 3D is for DOGS. It plainly states that it is not for use in cats! And I don’t know where you are getting your information, but Hartz is not Summit Vet Pharm just because they use some of the same ingredients. They are owned by the same company — that’s it.
    I’m not saying this in defense of Vectra 3D as I am an avid Frontline user, but you should research and read the labels before you proceed to worry pet owners.

  3. Deanna’s comments are technically correct, but frankly sound like she’s trying to obfuscate the whole picture. Vectra 3D is, in fact, a product for dogs, not cats. However, Vectra, also made by Summit VetPharm, is a cat and kitten product. Vectra 3D, the dog product, contains a large volume of permethrin (36%) which is toxic and potentially lethal to cats and kittens. If a dog treated by Vectra 3D came into contact with a cat or kitten there’s a potential for disaster because of the volume of permethrin in the dog product. Incidentally, dogs and puppies are also being killed or injured by permethrin ingredients although their ability to metabolize the neurotoxin is greater than cats and they are not killed in the same number as cats and kittens. Permethrins are also potentially dangerous to humans, particularly infants, toddlers and pregnant women.

    Now, a couple of other facts that Deanna failed to mention: Although Hartz and Summit VetPharm are not the same companies, as Deanna pronounces, they are owned by the same company–Sumitomo Chemical. Hartz Mountain has attempted–unsuccessfully–for many years to have their products distributed through veterninarians. Veterinarians hate Hartz’s flea and tick products because of the carnage they’ve witnessed over the years. Because Hartz was unsuccessful distributing through veterinarians, Sumitomo created Summit VetPharm as a separate company strategically focused on distributing products ONLY through veterinarians. They brought Hartz Mountain’s vice president and chief scientist, Dr. Albert Ahn, from Hartz to Summit VetPharm, specifically to develop the distribution channel and also develop the product line. Dr. Ahn is a co-holder of the patent on Hartz Mountain’s main product ingredient, phenothrin, which is included in Hartz Mountain’s flea and tick products for dogs and puppies. Phenothrin has created tremendous damage over the years–to both cats and dogs. In 2005 the EPA issued a CANCELLATION ORDER on Hartz’s cat and kitten products containing phenothrin because of the tremendous number of cats and kittens killed and injured. Dr. Ahn was successful in transitioning very similar product ingredients from Hartz’s product line to Summit VetPharm’s product line and–the real bad news–Summit VetPharm has been successful in now distributing that product line through veterinarians. Vets across the country are now seeing the damage done to dogs and cats–similar pattern as Hartz’s products–from Vectra 3D and Vectra product ingredients containing neutotoxin pesticides. Since many veterinarians now work for large veterinary corporations–companies that have relationships with Sumitomo and Summit VetPharm–there is not a lot they can do about this scenario without drawing attention to themselves and creating an uncomfortable employment situation.

    I hope this clears up any confusion. Very directly, Sumitomo, Hartz and Summit VetPharm have worked collaboratively (and legally) to develop a business strategy that allows cheaply manufactured, pesticide neurotoxin products to be distributed through trusted veterinarians (Sumitomo’s “free” sales force) maximizing their profits at the expense of companion animals and their owners. Although Dr. Ahn no longer works for Summit VetPharm, mission accomplished. It’s disgraceful, not well known and creating immeasureable damage.

  4. I put vectra 3D on my dog on friday, July 9 2010. We found him two days later breathing rapidly and panting heavily. He was unable to move. Never used this product before and never will again. Could not get him comfortable and he later was put down. He was 13 years old.

  5. My vet told me to start using Vectra 3D after using frontline all these years. Within an hour or so after putting this on MY DOG, my cat became very restless and started twitching. By the time I got to the vet, they said my poor kitty needed to put on fluids and they would have to keep her. We ended up having to put her down. Only after that did I hear that Vectra is really Hartz and I am shocked that my vet wouldn’t tell me this as I never would’ve used it. Vectra should be ashamed of themselves just trying to make a buck at the cost of my poor kitty that apparently just rubbed against my dog.

  6. Bob,
    I seriously doubt the Vectra treatment and your cat’s demise were related, unless your cat rolled on or licked the part of your dog you applied the product to. Unfortunate coincidence, more likely. Even if your cat rubbed against the dog, unless the dog was wet with the product and the cat absorbed a large amount of it, the cat would have been unaffected.
    On a related note, almost ALL dog products, including those made by Frontline and Advantix (I use Frontline on all my dogs) have warnings that they are toxic to cats and are for DOG use only.
    I’m no Hartz fan, and won’t put any of their products, including Vectra, on my animals, but some of the links made here are just rampant speculation. We need to stay with documentable facts, not just opinion based conclusions.
    Rich’s post was VERY informative…..

  7. Devin, Thanks for your concern regarding my cat, but my Vet told me that this is the reason that it happened. Many people love to post their opinion and frame it like a fact, but the bottom line is that it happened and I will never ever use a product like that again.

  8. I use Vectra 3D on my dogs since we have a horrible tick problem in the northeast and other products no longer work. I have a cat the rubs and wresles around with both dogs and my cat is fine.
    The cat sleeps with the dogs as well, never had an issues.
    Just an FYI.

  9. Devin,

    Just a few comments…You mention frontline in the same sentence as advantix ,, frontline is not toxic for cats and advantix clearly states NOT TO BE USED ON CATS.. But what is most telling is everybody seems to ignore the real reason why some vets are prostituting their ethics by carrying Vectra, it is simply money… The Vectra program is sold to vets with the idea that the product will be kept off the shelves of pet stores and on line pet suppliers thereby increasing the profit margins for Veterinarians… It is ALWAYS the dollar first….

  10. I have used Vectra 3D on both of my dogs for years without any side effects. As Lisa stated, my cat also sleeps with my dogs even after applying the Vectra 3D, and amazingly she is still alive. Imagine that. Seems clear Bob most likely also put the Vectra 3D on his cat because he didn’t read the box, which clearly states: DO NOT USE ON CATS.

  11. I am a new dog owner and my Vet strongly encourages flea and tick medication but only carries Vectra in her office. Wanting to be a good “Dog Mom” I applied the medication as instructed on May 26, 2010. Within a couple days my dog showed signs of irritation and major discomfort, I took him back to the Vet and was told he “pulled a muscle” or got a “bee sting”. Some anti-inflammatories were prescribed. On June 30th I went to the Vet to get another dose, just before a trip to the Northwoods. Immediately after properly applying Vectra the same irritation and symptoms returned that he had with his “pulled muscle” or “bee sting”. I am no Sherlock Holmes, but, obviously the issue all along was the Vectra. I spent 2 days giving my dog oatmeal baths and holding ice packs on him. Summit VetPharm has finally agreed to re-imburse me for all my Vet bills and the cost of the two Vectra doses….as long as I sign a Release of Claims and do not discuss this with anyone else. What should I do?

  12. I want to share my Vectra 3D experience with everyone here. I went to my vet to purchase a twelve month supply of Frontline, which I have used without issue on my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for twelve years. I was told that they were no longer selling Frontline, but were selling a new product, Vectra 3D instead. On the recommendation of my excellent and trusted vet I purchased this product. My dog has enjoyed flawless health her entire life and has had a comprehensive annual physical every year of her life. To say that she was in excellent health until two weeks ago would be an understatement. I applied the Vectra 3D around 6:00pm on Saturday January 22. All day on Sunday my dog was lethargic, listless and would not eat. By 5:30am on Monday January 24 she had become restless and was having difficulty breathing. I took her to the vet immediately (a different vet than the one from whom I had purchased the Vectra; I live between two cities and had traveled from the city in which I had purchase it to my other resident city). The vet examined her, did some blood work, decided she had a “sinus infection”, gave her a Decadron shot and some antibiotics and sent her home. I left her resting comfortably at noon, returned to check on her at 2:00pm and she was seemingly fine. I left her again, returning at 5:00pm. Upon my return I found her gasping to breath and in severe distress. I called the vet and he instructed me to get her to him as fast as I could. It took 15 minutes in rush hour traffic to get to his office; she quit breathing and I had to resuscitate her twice en route. Upon arrival it was determined that she was suffering from acute pulmonary edema. The vet administered Lasix and something else to increase her lung capacity; he then personally drove her to the critical care facility, where she was put on oxygen overnight. She had stabilized by Tuesday morning, but has had a very rough two weeks. She has had a complete cardiac assessment, and as thorough a physical exam as is humanly possible. No other underlying problem that could even be considered a contributing factor to her condition has been identified. The very first thing I told the vet when I saw him that first time was that I had put this new product on her, and suspected it may be the problem. He immediately discounted that theory (remember, he is NOT the vet that sold me this product, and in fact had never heard of Vectra 3D.) When I arrived at his office with my dog the morning after her night in intensive care, he told me that he was so disturbed and perplexed by the situation that he had been up all night researching Vectra 3D; that the symptoms exhibited by my dog, and in the sequence and timing in which they had appeared, were exactly in line with story after story of similar incidents reported on the internet. At this point neither he nor I can come close to any other cause. The good news is that my dog has thus far made it through. She is taking a mild diuretic, as she continues to be plagued by a slight pulmonary edema. We are hopeful that after a month has elapsed and all of the product has dissipated this will clear up too. While one cannot place a monetary value on the love and loyalty of a beloved four legged member of the family, this incident has thus far cost me in excess of $1,500, not to mention the stress of nearly losing a perfectly healthy pet. The bottom line: I will NEVER use this product again, and will likewise share my experience with as many people that will listen!

  13. First, all products come with warnings, FOR A REASON!!. Vectra is perfectly safe. If you have an animal that has pre-existing conditions, then double check with the Vet. Vectra 3D is for DOGS ONLY! There are sufficient warnings on the label , and wherever you purchase the product should also add boldly colored labels and be able able to explain the efficacy as well as the dangers. It is dangerous to cats until DRY!

    Everything Rich stated is 100% correct. There were most likely underlying conditions and other factors, such as age. Vectra is really a revolutionary product which produces much better results as far as eliminating fleas and ticks on the dogs, as well as in the environment. I am sorry that there have been unfortunate incidents, and do not wish that upon anyone.

    There is a number on the back of the box as well on the individual tubes. If you experience any adverse side effects, wash the product off the dog immediately if it is safe to do so, take the pet to the vet, and call the number!! The hotline will be able to take your information and file a report if deemed necessary!!!

    I have used Vectra on both of my dogs for years. One has an auto immune disorder, and the other chronic skin infections, and both have been fine with the product. If you are having second thoughts about a topical, there are several oral flea preventative products, although each with its own caveats and side effects!

    Remember to always talk to your vet and give them as much as information as possible. If they blow you off and don’t acknowledge you concerns, find a different vet!!

  14. My DOG is a healthy 1 yr old shih tzu. I never had any medical issues with her so far. Her vet recommended and sold Vectra 3d to me. I followed instructions carefully, a few hours later my dog started having horrible Spasms in her legs. This went on for hours. As I held her you can also hear she was having difficulty breathing. She did not want to go out side or walk. She just laid there. I gave my dog a bath with Johnson & Johnson shampoo. And the spasms appeared to stop, but she still wouldn’t go out and was still breathing different. A day later, the spasms started again.
    I searched the internet frantically. And have found numerous healthy dogs have died from this product. There is a class action lawsuit against this product. This is a TOXIC product for not only cats but DOGS! Numerous people have contacted the manufacture who agrees to pay the vet bills as long as you keep quiet. DO NOT AGREE TO THIS. Everyone needs to come together and get this product off the market! As I hope no other pet owner has to see there dog in such agony!

  15. For 3 months I had been using Frontline on my dog which frankly wasnt working at all for fleas or ticks. It would actually make them worse and when I would apply the product the Frontline on him he wouldnt play and could barely move, and within a few hours he would begin to throw up and this would last through out the night. After telling my vet about this she suggested we try the Vectra 3D on him instead. It has been wonderful so far. I have not seen 1 flea on him since we started using it (and we live in an area that has a large flea problem outdoors in the spring and summer time) He has had no side effects as well. I have a 2 cats as well that are around him after he gets his tratments and they have never had any problems either. The side effects depend on your dog. Not all dogs will have a bad reaction to this treatment. There are warnings with any flea treatment that you use on your animals that there may be side effects. Everyone I know swears by Frontline, but in my dogs case that made him extremly ill where Vectra 3D doesnt and it actually has taken care of the flea problem.

  16. We have used Frontline Plus for years but this summer our vet strongly recommended Vectra 3D and we liked that it said it would repelled mosquitos. We applied it to two of our three dogs (75lbs). One dog seemed unaffected but the other had some itching fits in the three areas that I applied the product. We immediately asked for a refund and the vet let us exchange it for Frontline. I honestly don’t like putting Frontline on them, but we do have terrible ticks a few months out of the year. Our little dog (14 lbs) always hides when it is time to put on his dose and we always wondered if it was because he felt it spreading on his back or if it irritated his skin. He never had any physical evidence of anything but with all the controversy, heart-wrenching stories of all these chemicals we are going to find something more natural and only put on Frontline when absolutely necessary…if nothing else works.

  17. After a very bad summer with fleas, and also having my daughters two dogs (3 in all )I tried Vectra 3 on all the dogs with great success, Had used Frontline on my Boston all her life, she is now 8, but the fleas were so bad the Frontline was not working. I can’t say anything bad about Vectra 3 as it really saved my dog and my daughters from a lot of agony with the fleas. I love my little Pixi and my daughters dogs, Elvis and BAILI.Pixi AND Elvis ARE RIGHT AT 24 LBS. AND Baili IS 74 lbs. Can’t explain why some dogs can handle Vectra 3 and some can’t.Guess they are just like people, allergic to some medicines. It breaks my heart to hear some of you have lost your pets,and the people who sell this product should really. get to the bottom of it. All of the meds they give us to use on our pets is nothing but poison anyway,(or it wouldn’t kill fleas and ticks)and they should come up with something natural that would do the job.

  18. We have always used Frontine or Advantage, but the vet discontinued offering those and recommended Vectra 3D because we were told, “the fleas are less resistant to Vectra and have become immune to Frontline & Advantage”. They have both a dog version of Vectra 3D AND a cat version of Vectra 3D.

    The version for our dog made him vomit about 4-5 hours after we put it on him. The vet said they never heard of anyone else having problems and since it was 5 hours later, we thought it could be due to something else. So, we said we would give it another month to try it.

    Before we gave it to our dog this month, we saw that we were out of Advantage for the cats so the vet sold us the cat version of Vectra 3D. We held off using Vectra 3D on our dog due to the fear of having vomiting issues again.

    Since this was new to the cats, the vet applied it to our cats in their office and we went home. Within 20 minutes, our female cat was foaming at the mouth – it was horrible! Our male cat seemed lethargic, but at least no foaming. We had to take a washcloth with Dawn & water to rub it off her skin as much as we could. Then we rushed our female over to the vet to have a cortisone shot to counter-act it.

    The next day, we started seeing that the fur under her chin was completely rubbed off from scratching – her entire neck was completely bare. Then, she started rubbing off spots of fur on her head which started to appear on day 2. The spots started to bleed from rubbing it raw.

    We are on day 4 and still having problems with rubbing fur off. We are applying an all natural topical ointment to her head & neck and trying to give her children’s Benadryl to reduce the itching. I cannot wait until all that Vectra 3D gets out of her system.

    I regret ever using Vectra 3D – as another person posted…it is like poison!

  19. I started my healthy Lab/ Rottie/ Great Dane mix on Vectra on Monday night.. the next day, he didnt want to eat dinner.. he finally ate about 1/2, and threw up within minutes. He threw up a couple of times, until bile was coming up (when stomach is empty) He hasn’t eaten this morning, and is lethargic… I called the vet, and they said it was not from the Vectra… prob was the chicken bones he ate 5 days earlier.. My other dog (Golden) also had the Vectra and was fine… I really don’t know what to do!

  20. Now the Vectra problem is getting worse. I have now discovered VCA and Banfield hospitals are both carrying Vectra and Vectra 3D in a generic form. Now I have to watch out for Firstshield (Banfield), and Simpleguard (VCA). Even worse, because they are non prescription pesticides, they are sold by the receptionist without any directions from a vet. Its like all the other pet store stuff.
    Amazing that a company that supposedly is in the business to help animals is now willing to confuse the public just for a higher profit margin.
    Whats even worse is that the greedy corporate hospitals are now doing it.
    I urge everyone to boycott those responsible for this.

  21. I have always used frontline on my animals until suddenly the vet said Vectra was better. The dog was fine but my senior cat is not. Prior to the Vectra she had a cut that needed suturing and she had a full set of bloodwork done that revealed a healthy cat. As a matter of fact the vet said she was the healthiest older cat she had ever seen. She recovered from the cut and received Vectra probably more than a month later. My cat has always hated the wet product on her neck and somehow she managed to twist her paws around and licked some of the Vectra. She was sick within a few hours and lost weight and stopped eating for aobut three weeks. The vet could not find anything wrong with her other than the Vectra application. She got better and it never occured to me that the Vectra was the cause until it happened the second time about 6 weeks later. I am not the greatest at remembering to put the stuff on. My cat was back up to her normal weight and happiness until the day I hit her with more Vectra. It has been a month since the Vectra and she has not returned to complete normal yet. She is down 2 pounds and just starting to eat again with much encouragement from me and special foods. I am very convinced that she has been poisoned by the Vectra. I don’t think it is a good product for senior cats at all. I don’t know if she will recover or not and I am very unhappy with the lack of information about the side effects of this poison.

  22. I just put the second dose one month apart of Vectra-3D on my dog one hour ago. She is a 4 lb three year old short hair chihuahua and is very calm for her breed. I noticed she was a little restless when I put it on her last month but figured it was because she is a sensitive and can sometimes be a little neurotic. When I put the product on her this time I noticed that her restlessness was much worse. She is pacing and panting and uncontrollably running in circles right now. I just called my vet and they said to watch her another hour then to wash it off with Dawn if she stays in a panic ridden state. I am very frustrated and sad right now to see my dog going crazy by something I unknowingly caused her. Once I began to research the problem I saw tons of reports on how dangerous this product is and am calling my vet back right now to get him to try and stop selling it to innocent pet owners like myself.

  23. We moved to CT from MA and both our Newfies got a tick borne illness in the first month despite Frontline. We continued Frontline for a few months but pulled literally dozens of ticks off the dogs. The vet recommended switching to Vectra, which we did. I noticed there was more (volume) in the large tubes and that the fur around the application remains a bit “greasy” looking but we have not had a single tick since starting Vectra.

  24. I have a 12 pound chihuahua mix. After an extremely rough month with a stubborn flea last summer (My dog bit his tail raw trying to get the itch. The flea never bit him, it just scurried around by his tail for 4 days, so the Frontline didn’t do anything), I switched from Frontline to Vectra 3D. I haven’t seen a flea or tick on him since. I used to pick ticks off him every time we’d walk near or in the woods. They weren’t repelled at all, so they made it into my house on my dog. I just finished up my 6 month pack and I am definitely going to purchase another 6 month pack. Although my dog doesn’t like the greasy/slimy application, and it makes him a little itchy for a day until it dries, it works amazingly well and he has no other side effects.

  25. I’m very grateful for everyone’s comments here about their experiences with Vectra 3D. I decided to check people’s comments before using this product for the first time on my little one today, and I’m very glad I did. I will not use this product on my girl. Thanks.

  26. My dog (good health and only four years old) had the same reaction as some of the others, twitching of the muscles, he couldn’t walk, wouldn’t get up to eat, drink, go pee nor poop. After a little over 24 hours of use I started to look up vectra because this came on all of a sudden and the only thing I did different was use vectra which was the first time we’ve used it. I read that others were having some of the same symptoms as my dog, so I washed him immediately and believe it or not after an hour long bath washing and scrubbing him four different times, he was about 90% better! My advice to anyone having any sort of problems after using vectra would be to immediately wash your dog with extra shampoo a few times then contact you vet!!

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