Our kitten Mushroom

Our neighbors found a litter of abandoned kittens and were just barely keeping them alive. We took one of them, a beautiful black tiny thing. She was drinking cows milk and starting to eat soft food but was only about 3 weeks old. We called the Vet to see what we should do and they told us to feed it Milk Replacer. We live in a pretty rural area and the only thing around is Walmart so we picked up the only thing they had which was the Haartz Milk Replacer. I gave it to her in a bottle that day starting at noon. She had 2 very small bottles. The next morning she was still in her basket when I woke up. The previous days she would start meowing when she heard us but that day she didn’t. I looked at her and she was sleeping. About 8 I checked again and she lifted her head so slightly so I left her alone. I went back about 20 minutes later and she had pooped in her bed and didn’t move her head at all. I picked her up to clean her off but she was very very limp. I told my husband that I thought she was dying. We both said that maybe we fed her too much. I layed her back down and she just layed on her side with her eyes wide open and glossy but she was still breathing. I honestly expected her to die. I kept checking on her every 20 minutes but nothing changed. I got a medicine dropper to give her some water and she just let it roll off her mouth. I had to move her head so she wouldn’t just lay in the wet area. She was completely limp with her head and paws. It was so terrible. I just cried. Then I would touch her tummy and she would twitch. We were going to go out of town that day but I couldn’t leave her nor take her with so we changed our plans. Finally about noon I checked on her and gave her some more water. About 20 minutes later she lifted her head, then within a half hour she stood up and bumped erratically into the sides of the basket. Then she was back to normal. It was the strangest thing. We were happy. That night I gave her some more milk replacer. She didn’t drink much. When the kids went to bed I googled “kitten coma” and “Kitten lethargic” because it seemed she was in a coma like state. I came across this website and others and was horrified to realize that it was the Haartz Milk Replacer! How horrible that Walmart sells this awful stuff!! We tried a couple of places in town and found some KMR and now she is about 6 weeks old, growing and thriving. She is a great kitten, we love her so much and I am glad I didn’t give up on her and she was strong enough to survive this but I know that if I gave her more we would have lost her.

4 thoughts on “Our kitten Mushroom”

  1. Wow! This just happened to me! I had no idea.

    I never use Hartz products because they all, without exception, stink like poison. However, I have used their KMR in an emergency.
    I had an emergency a few weeks ago with newborns. I could only find the Hartz KMR canned stuff, so that’s what they ate. And three out of the five babies went through exactly what you described, word for word! I had no idea it was the KMR. I couldn’t figure it out at all! I, too, was sure they were going to die any second, and the coma part of it was very scary. They would lie there, totally unconscious, and their pupils were not light-reactive. And they were breathing so shallowly, I just kept my hand on their little ribcages to feel the heartbeat. But they got better! They went back to normal. I was so grateful!

    These incidents happened on different days; I didn’t have three kittens sick all at once. But one of the kittens had these symptoms again, and I was afraid all over again. I described it to the boss of our rescue organization, and she’d never heard of it before. I was prepared to lose the kittens, because their life before they got to me was very tough – and because kittens just have a high mortality rate. They just do, sometimes for no apparent reason.

    I will spread the word in our volunteer/foster/rescue community. But what can we do? Does anyone know who we can contact about this? I mean, besides sending singing telegrams to Hartz. Is there an office or an organization that can do anything with our complaints? Do you think there is anyone who would care who is in a position to do something?

    All five kittens are doing fine, BTW. They are in our shelter, up for adoption.

    Thank you very much! I’m grateful for the information.
    Alice J

  2. Omg. I just left a comment about my kitty dying and I’m pretty sure it was from Hartz flea shampoo. Was reading other horror stories and started reading about Mushroom and now I have another problem. My cat had kittens last March and for some reason one of the kittens wasn’t eating so I went and bought a little kitten bottle and that Hartz milk replacement. Fed the kitten that crap and seemed to perk up and seemed like she was going to be ok. Fed her her bottle the next day when all the other kittens were feeding. She was doing great. My Aunt came in room to see all of the kittens the next morning to find the baby dead. I cannot believe this is happenning. Thought I was mad about the flea shampoo yeas ago? Well now I am more than enraged. Can’t say what I’m thinking about that company right now, if you wanna call them a company. Ha. More like sicko you know what! They have to be stopped. I cannot believe this right now. This is insane. I don’t even know what to do right now. Somebody please help to stop this crazy insanity. Just can’t and never will understand how people can be so cruel to innocent and lovable creatures. I can’t understand what are on these peoples minds. Somebody please help me to get over this please.

  3. This very thing happened to one of my foster kittens. We had been feeding them the more expensive (and better quality) KMR, but one night we ran out and got some of the Hartz Milk as a last minute option. One of the kittens, just 3 weeks old, went into the coma-like state that you are talking about. We had no idea what was wrong. The vet couldn’t figure it out. We thought something was seriously wrong with the little guy and had planned on having him euthanized because he was only 3 weeks old and we didn’t want him to suffer. Fortunately he came out of the horrible state he was in and we took him home. At this point we still didn’t realize it was the food. We fed him when we got home and it happened again. It was at that point that we knew it had to be the Hartz Milk. I immediately went out and bought some more KMR and he did fine after that. He is a 7 year old, healthy & happy cat now, no thanks to Hartz.

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