Hartz = Poison

My poor cat is fighting for his life after a single treatment of Hartz Ultraguard Plus.  I found this junk at Wal-Mart while shopping for a better, more expensive brand that I’ve used before, but it wasn’t there.  Unfortunately, Hartz was.  Literally minutes after the application, he started having a reaction.  By that night, his inner eyelids were completely swollen shut with puss running down his face.  He was having difficulty breathing and was completely lethargic.

This was on a Friday night, and I live in a very remote town.  There wasn’t even an emergency vet within hundreds of miles that could help, so I spent the weekend paying Internet vets for advice to keep him alive until the following Monday.  All I could do was wash it off and try to help him eat and drink.

There is no way to describe the fear and agony of watching something you love suffer – especially when you know it could have been avoided.  He was a very energetic cat with lots of vitality, and now all his energy is spent on breathing.

He has been to the vet twice now and has received 2 steroid shots, a Benadryl shot and an antibiotic shot. His eyes are constantly draining the puss, and he’s very congested.  I don’t know if he’s going to live.  The worst part is that my dad died recently, and my sister is away doing volunteer work in the Philippines until the end of summer.  She missed our dad’s funeral, and it would just be too much to lose her beloved kitty, too.

I hope others don’t have to go through what we’ve gone through.   I can’t believe this garbage is still on the shelves!

7 thoughts on “Hartz = Poison”

  1. Tawni, I cannot tell you how sorry I am that this has happened to you and your kitty. Please know that this happens to thousands of pets and families every year and you are not the guilty party and should not feel guilty. It is Hartz and the other manufacturers of these over-the-counter topical pesticide spot-on’s that have created this reprehensible tragedy and it has been going on for decades. Unfortunately, the federal agency established to protect consumers and American citizens, the Environmental Protection Agency, has been completely complicit–actually an enabler–of the devastation to animals and pet owners.

    I would strongly encourage you to take action and fight back against these products and the manufacturers. Please call Hartz (1-800-275-1414) and also call your state Attorney General (I don’t know what state you live in but you can find your attorney general’s name and contact information in the phone book or on Google) and the EPA (703-305-7090) and the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). Believe me, Hartz will not be happy to hear from you and will NOT want you calling the EPA or your Attorney General or the NPIC. They will give you a “case number” and you should hang on to that. You should be sure to insist that Hartz reimburse you for your veterinary expenses–do not take no for an answer–and let your state Attorney General know the outcome of that demand. Additionally, please, take one other important step to help yourself and other pets and pet owners. Please take the time to report your incident to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). This organization works with the EPA to compile the database of incidents and statistics that will be analyzed and used as a basis for corrective action. The NPIC can be reached at 1-800-858-7378. They are very professional, courteous and efficient. This is a critical step in the public forcing the EPA–one of the most lax oversight agencies in the federal government–to do the right thing and get these neurotoxin pesticide ingredients out of the marketplace. I have spoken with people at the EPA who, “off the record”, completely agree that these products are extremely dangerous and should not be in the marketplace but feel they cannot do anything about it.

    Hartz Mountain has one of the most deplorable safety records in the industry with these pesticide products. Their disgraceful safety record goes back to the late 1980?s with their product “Blockade” which caused immense damage to animals and also injured humans, prior to Hartz having to remove it from the marketplace. Since then they have been fined, forced to make labeling changes and had their cat and kitten product cancelled by the EPA in 2005. In spite of this late and lax action by the EPA, Hartz and other manufacturers continue to develop, distribute, market and sell pesticide neurotoxins that injure and kill pets by the tens of thousands each year. It’s reprehensible that Hartz, BioSpot (Farnam), Sergeant’s, Summit VetPharm (Vectra and Vectra D) and others continue to injure and kill thousands of pets–-it’s absolutely unacceptable. We should all do whatever we can to prevent this from happening to other animals and families. Communications to the proper regulatory agencies, manufacturers, NPIC, the media and politicians are critical steps. The media actually frightens the manufacturers more than any entity I’ve mentioned. Your Attorney General is another person Hartz does not want to hear from. All the best. Again, I’m very sorry this has happened to you and your pet. I understand the pain and sense of guilt. I hope you’ll translate that anger into constructive action and do everything you can to ensure these products are taken off the market. All the best to you and your kitty, Tawni.

  2. I strongly incourage you to file a claim against Hartz. Three months ago I used the Sergeant Flea & Tick spray on my cat. Within hours he started having severe seizures every hour. I brought him into the vet and he was there for 10 days. I was about to uthenize him because he would not respond to the seizure meds. They finally flushed out his system with Lactulose which he is on currently twice a day for life. My bill sored to 1500.00. My vet helped me file a claim against Sergeants but there response was my error in application. I am now re-appealing the claim. I have contacted the EPA. I am sending all the data I have gathered proving I followed instructions and he did not have any underlying condition. I am copying the EPA department on my appeal also. If anything, my mission is to get these products pulled from the market immediately. I would be happy to give you any advise on filing your case. This is a joke and a crime that they can sell this product to consumers. We can write about it all day long but we need to band together and fight. You can google the EPA online and take a stand. We will only win in numbers.

  3. I had the same problem with Hartz Ultraguard Plus – I KNOW the anguish and guilt. THIS HELPED THE PRECIOUS 5 lb. DOG I WAS BABYSITTING FOR 3 MONTHS

  4. I KNOW the anguish and guilt you’re going through. This is what helped the precious 5 lb. dog I had been babysitting for 3 months – I immediately took some Dawn dishwashing liquid in warm water and gently bathed her where I had placed the Hartz (down her back) and, of course, down her legs and stomach but I didn’t give her a total bath — she was so weak and wouldn’t move off the couch and I was afraid she’d die so I gave her a “sponge” bath focusing down her back and then wrapped her in a fluffy towel and used the blow dryer on low for just a minute or so and then wrapped her in a blanket with a heating pad on the outside of the blanket and held her all night long – cheek to cheek. She wouldn’t lay down – she kept moving her head from side to side – couldn’t stop. I was afraid of her having a heart attack because she acted like she was on speed or something. That’s why I held her wrapped up where she’d stay warm and then let her rub her cheek against mine every time she’d move it to my side – which was constant (she likes rubbing cheeks). This happened about 3 am – at some point both of us fell asleep sitting up like that. Of course, I was praying nonstop, too. I could just imagine having to tell my nephew’s family of 3 little girls and one little boy that the 4 footed member of their family died on my watch. When I woke up, she jumped down from the couch, her tail wagging and was fine. I was SO thankful! I hope this might work for your precious cat. It couldn’t hurt.

  5. Thanks Susan.. for the story.. If you haven’t already.. please check out our Facebook page.. “Hartz Products are killing our Pets”.. Stephanie and I started the page in an effort to help others know about Hartz.. and how it hurts our pets.. offering stories.. alternatives.. how to file claims against Hartz.. and how Dawn dishsoap can help. I go into Walmart Kmart etc.. and walk the aisles every time I am there.. for about 15 minutes.. if I can save one life.. it is worth it.. Best regards… Heather

  6. Rich.. thanks for your post.. if you haven’t already.. would you add yourself as a friend to our site.. and pass the word.. we are trying to use the site to help others learn about hartz.. and how to file claims etc.. Would appreciate any help you could give.. we add stories.. information all the time.. so would appreciate your time.. Respectfully, Heather and Stephanie.

  7. I almost ended up using this on my Black lab Sophie. She is being constantly attacked by fleas constantly and is stopping to scratch every 3-5 minutes. While I wait for my forum post to be put through I was wondering if anyone can reccomend a safe product for Labrador Retrievers?

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