Reading the stories on this website are heart-wrenching. I am so sorry for everyone here who has lost a pet (or almost lost one). If it is any consolation, reading your stories, and the advice of your vets, probably saved my Yorkie’s life.
Last week, we bought a Hartz “Ultraguard Plus Flea & Tick Collar” for Mickey, my 5 pound Yorkie. I got the smallest one possible. He had worn a flea collar in the past without any problems. (The brand was not Hartz) We put the collar on him and everything was fine. However, the next morning, Mickey was unable to walk and appeared to be having a seizure. Mickey has had issues with hypoglycemia in the past, and my brother assumed he was having an attack. My brother got him to eat and drink some water, and after about 15 minutes, Mickey started feeling better.
The next morning, the same thing happened, which is incredibly unusual, because Mickey has never had two attacks in a row. My brother sat with him, trying to feed him, and took off the collar because according to him, “The flea collar smell was overpowering.” I went to visit him, and he tried to get up to see me, but he couldn’t walk. His legs and back were stuck in a locked position and he couldn’t unflex his muscles. I picked him up and petted him and tried to get him to eat. He started crying and whimpering like he was dying. I finally got him to eat some treats. While I was petting him, I noticed his collar was incredibly tight, to the point of choking him. I thought my brother had tightened it on accident, so I took it off immediately. About 15 minutes later, he could walk again.
That day Mickey did fine, but the next day (Sunday) when my brother came home, Mickey was sitting in his bed, unable to move again, whimpering pathetically and pawing at his neck. My brother called me, saying his neck was swollen and he was crying. I knew it was not related to hypoglycemia, because we’d been carefully monitoring his food intake. We had taken the collar off days before, but because of the swollen neck, I suspected it might the flea collar. I googled “flea collar swollen neck” and your website popped up.
Thank GOD you guys are here. I read through the stories and immediately called my brother and told him to give Mickey a bath with Dawn dish soap and to get him to drink water. My brother gave him two vigorious baths and dried him off. I stayed up until 5AM texting him every 20 minutes, asking if Mickey was okay, if he was having another attack or crying.
Monday night I visited Mickey, and he was doing great, running around and playing with his toys. Yesterday he was doing well, too, so I think he is “out of the woods” (hopefully).
If it wasn’t for your website, I would have spent hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars taking Mickey to the vet, only to be told he needed a bath (and fluids) because of that awful flea collar. And if we had waited 12 hours to get him to a vet, who knows if he would have been okay.
I honestly can’t believe anyone could sell these toxic products, kill innocent pets, and be able to sleep at night. It’s disgusting. They know their products are killing pets and they don’t care. I can’t imagine losing Mickey because I bought a product I ASSUMED was safe. If this was an isolated incident, whatever, maybe my dog was just “sensitive” to the toxins in their flea collars. But reading all your stories, it is apparent that is not the case. I can’t believe how toxic their products seem to be on cats. It’s awful. Having to watch your pet suffer is horrible. Knowing that the suffering is completely pointless and preventable makes it intolerable. Shame on Hartz and the retailers who sell their products!
But I’d like to say thank you, again, to everyone who shared their stories and experiences, because it helped save Mickey’s life. But at the same time, I’m so, so sorry to those of you who racked up vet bills and still lost your pets. It’s absolutely disgusting what Hartz does, and I hope their products will be taken off the shelves!