Another Hartz Victim

In April, 2010, my husband and I adopted Ila, a six month old kitten, from a local animal shelter. Although she is an indoor cat, we allow her to romp around the screened in patio. In mid-September, we noticed that she had picked up fleas. On 9/16/10, we bought a package of Hartz Ultraguard Pro flea treatment containing three doses; each dose to be administered no less than 30 days from the previous one. Late in the evening, we applied the first dose to the nape of her neck according to package instructions. It was heavily perfumed and greasy.

The following morning, Ila was shuddering and jerking as she greeted us. In the middle of her usual antics that day, she would stop dead and stretch out a leg as it went into spasms. Several times that day, her head convulsed up and down. Nothing had changed in this healthy, energy packed cat, other than a dose of Hartz flea treatment. I considered wiping the treatment from her neck, however, it was no longer really visible. She had spent some time the previous evening rolling around on a bedspread, leaving a big greasy stain on it. During a 2-3 day period, the spasms continued intermittently. Ila vomited her food into her water bowl twice during that time. Also, instead of characteristically trying to encourage us to chase her around the house, Ila waited for us to sit down so that she could curl up in someone’s lap and be touched. That was not her style. Although now almost a year old, she still tears around like a bullet.

After the third day, I logged onto the internet, unsure of what I was looking for. In a quick search under Hartz, we learned through that there have been numerous severe reactions to Hartz products for animals.

We quickly bathed Ila in a utility sink with warm water and baby shampoo. For a cat that we believe had never had a bath before, she was remarkably calm, as if she knew it was necessary. We washed her bed and all of the bedding through the house where she naps. We scrubbed the greasy spots off of the floors throughout the house and scrubbed the tile floor in the laundry room where we keep her litter pan, bed, and food dishes.

After the bath, the spasms continued to occur for another 3 or 4 days, however, they were far less frequent and much less severe. Today, approximately two weeks later, her energy seems to have returned and she is no longer shuddering and convulsing. Thank you I have no explanation for the suffering of our defenseless cat other than the Hartz product. How can this be stopped?

2 thoughts on “Another Hartz Victim”

  1. Thank you for your story… I am sorry you had to go through this with your kitten. I am glad she is doing better. I pray for a complete recovery. I am glad this page helped you and your kitten in time.

    I learned the hard way.. my 3 yr old cat, Bianca died within 3 minutes of applying hartz products. She had a grand mal seizure and died abruptly while my son and I tried to bathe her for her fleas with Hartz “non medicated” shampoo! I pray your story helps others know how horrible our pets suffer.

    I,too, am asking the same question and willing to do whatever is necessary to stop Hartz from killing our beloved pets! No pets should not suffer and die from a product we thought was safe.
    Again, I am glad your kitten is recovering. Please pass this information on to everyone you know. I do! I tell everyone in Walmart, Kmart etc.. if it saves their pet then the loss of mine will not be in vain.

  2. On 3/2/10, a lawsuit seeking class action status was filed on behalf of several pet owners against Hartz, Sergeant’s, and Summit VetPharm (maker of Vectra and Vectra 3D, which are sold by Banfield Pet Hospital’s under the name FirstShield and FirstShield Trio):$File/arlandsoncomplaint.pdf

    If your pet was harmed by a flea and tick product, and
    you would like to participate in this class action to help get these products off of the market, please contact:

    Jacqueline Mottek
    Positive Legal Group
    [email protected]
    415.302.5371 (cell)

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