Some advice from a professional

So I’m a manager and technician at a vet clinic and have been hearing some horror stories like these from clients and decided to do some research and found this website. I am so disgusted by this product and am saddened that it is still on shelves. We are definitely warning clients against using any Hartz products and now will add Sergeant’s to the list. My advice for flea control is to use a liquid product with the active ingredient Fipronil; these would either be Frontline or Pet Armour, which is actually just a generic version of Frontline, and is sold at Wal-mart and Sam’s Club for pretty cheap. There is also a product called Comfortis, it’s active ingredient is spinosad. It is a pill form and does not treat for ticks and MUST be given with food. Unfortunately it is only sold through a vet’s office. The feline equivalent of Comfortis is a topical method called Assurity and is made by the same company. There are also good brands of flea/tick spray, such as Ovitrol and Adam’s products (we use these at work even on puppies and kittens). I would not waste time with flea collars, powders or shampoos, they usually don’t work that great if at all. If you keep your dog on heartworm prevention, you can also go with combination products. Trifexis is a pill form of heartworm prevention that also does intestinal worms and fleas. Revolution is a topical method that does heartworms, fleas, ticks and sarcoptic mange (a.k.a. scabies).  Your dog will need a heartworm test done first however before purchasing these products. Revolution also makes a topical formula for cats that does intestinal worms, fleas, ticks and ear mites and they do not need any prerequisite testing to get it. I hope this has been helpful and has shed some light on the situation. The maker’s of Hartz will eventually get what’s coming to them. As an animal professional, I feel it is my duty to educate as many people as possible about the ways to care for your pets, so please feel free to comment or leave questions on this post and I will do my best to answer them. My thoughts are with everyone and their beloved animals that we’re affected by this horrific line of  products.

8 thoughts on “Some advice from a professional”

  1. You have to agree that not all symptoms are possible from the insecticides in Hartz products. Ovitrol’s website is not so good, it doesn’t even explain what the active ingredients are. But since it’s using (S)-Methoprene, I imagine it’s using the same ingredients as Hartz. (if you have a bottle, it would be nice if you could post what the active ingredients are)

    Fleas and ticks are a disease vector, and if your animal has fleas or ticks, then it’s possible that they will receive a flea/tick-borne illness, and since these drops/sprays/whatever do not contain any antibacterials, nor parasiticides, they will not treat such illnesses.

    The key things to ask when your animal gets sick after applying a flea treatment are:

    What kind of animal did you use the product on, and what exact product did you use? (If you used a dog product on a cat, it is almost certain that you have exposed your cat to toxic levels of insecticide.)

    Was this a prophylactic treatment, or did your animal have fleas/ticks to begin with? (If your animal had fleas/ticks, then it is ALWAYS possible that they infected your animal! Fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance, THEY ARE A DISEASE VECTOR.)

    When did symptoms present? (insecticide toxicosis occurs very quickly, if the symptoms didn’t appear until a week or month after application, it is almost certainly NOT the insecticide)

    What symptoms occurred? (insecticide toxicosis has very specific symptoms: namely seizures and convulsions. If your animal isn’t “twitchy” it’s very likely not the insecticide’s fault.)

  2. Sounds to me like you approve of this product. I’ve been in this field a long time so don’t try to lecture me on these type of things, I get paid to know this information and our veterinarians choose to carry these products for a reason. We use Ovitrol everyday and have NEVER seen a reaction like those described on this website. Not to mention Ovitrol does not absorb into the bloodstream like Hartz does, so even if the ingredients are the same, they are not affecting the animal’s body the same way. If you’re looking on their website and posting that it contains (S)-Methoprene, then why are you asking me to do it? Products like Hartz circulate the bloodstream for 30 days, so it can affect the animal at several different times of absorption and different symptoms can surface depending on the animal’s prior health history. Also, I highly doubt every person on this site who used it on their cat used the formula for dogs by mistake and how would you explain the dog’s reactions? And while it is indeed true that ticks and fleas can spread disease, do you really think it is a coincidence that these people’s animals did not show any symptoms of being sick until this product was applied? And why would these preventions have antibacterials in them when antibiotics are meant to treat bacteria and NOT disease? There is a big difference. I have seen first hand what this crap can do to an animal’s skin. It burns patches of hair off and leaves the area extremely red and irritated and sometimes infected. If it does these things on the surface, do you really think it’s safe once it seeps into the bloodstream? There’s a reason why vet’s offices do not carry this line of products and recommend other methods of flea/tick prevention. In case you didn’t know, there have also been over 200 news stories and thousands of cases presented to the EPA since around 2008 about the dangers of this product. All Hartz was required to do was relabel their packaging and all of the class action lawsuits that have been filed have been settled out of court by high profile lawyers. This product is only on shelves still because this company is fueled by greed and the unfortunate reality that people who buy this product are unaware of these things until it is too late. While I agree that you shouldn’t buy OTC products until you consult your veterinarian, that is no justification for putting dangerous medications on the shelves without proper warning labels. Lastly, do not waste your time posting more comments about how you disagree because I’m not on here to argue. I’m trying to give these pet owners the advice they should have received in the first place and help ease the pain that they and their animals suffered as a result of Hartz negligence.

  3. Get em Vaneesa. What would happen if a child petted the animal with this on it? Would they do something then?

  4. No problem Theresa, always here to help the animals and their owners. Anyways, if a child came into contact with this product, it could definitely do some damage if they absorbed enough. Sometimes the topical methods can take a long time to dry and so it is recommended that you keep the animal separated from any others until it is dry and also to apply it up far enough on the neck/shoulder area to where the animal cannot lick it off. I’m not sure about Hartz or any other over the counter topicals, but I do know that on Frontline’s packaging it clearly says “Caution: Keep out of reach of children” on the front of the box. Although I’d hate to speculate, dog’s and cat’s skin is not much different than ours as far as how liquids affect it, so I wouldn’t doubt it if a child’s skin was burned in a similar way if they were exposed to a significant amount of the Hartz products. Sadly, animals don’t get as much respect as they deserve and so it’s easy for a big corporation to just sweep this problem under the rug, but if enough human cases surfaced, hopefully the EPA would finally start paying some attention.

  5. Thank you for your information. I like that you included alternatives that may be more affordable than just that bought at the vets office.

  6. My 9 y/o Rottweiler has patches of hair missing right by her ear, she got another one there today & is bleeding. She had a hartz flea collar but I took it off of her. I don’t know what to do for her. Do u have any advice on what to do other than take her to the vet? Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you.

  7. Of course Deb. There are some decent generics out there but it’s impossible to find them when you don’t know the real details and they’re mixed in with all that other OTC crap. Stacie, my first advice would be to of course take him to a veterinarian, but if you’re low on funds I would suggest washing the area with warm water, NO soap. Then gently pat it dry and apply some neosporin. Don’t use any peroxide or alcohol. If the patch spreads or gets worse I would say a visit to the vet is the only option because she may need it cleaned with a special solution and things like antibiotics or a steroid injection.

  8. Well I had no idea about all this hartz crap til I saw this, my dog has had 2 out of 3 treatments, the second treatment he got yesterday way before I found this site, and he is himself as far as I’m seeing, so imm wondering if its just a certain batch that’s doing this to animals or has this been goin on for years or something

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