Thank you for your site! I had no idea of how something so easy to buy at the store could cause so much heartache and pain.
I was at Neighborhood Walmart trying to get ready for July 4th holiday. I was planning to take my 7 y/o child and 3 dogs to the lake house for 5 days to spend time with my father and his 2 dogs on his new boat. That didn’t happen…
I periodically have bought flea stuff from PetsMart Banfield in the past. They close at 7pm and they want to have seen all animals in question recently and run worm tests, etc. I have spent several hundred dollars in the past year at the vet for unrelated incidences and thought I would just try getting something at the store – my reasons had to do with price, but more with convenience. With the holiday weekend stress and trying to find time to get them to the vet and pickup medication before PetsMart closed was going to be very difficult. I was also trying to STOP a flea infestation at home, plus didn’t want them to pick up fleas or ticks from being at the cabin for 5 days.
I bought Hartz Ultra Guard Plus for dogs and Hartz Ultra Guard Pro for cats. I spent 30 minutes at Walmart comparing ingredients and finally deciding on these two products.
My pets include:
1. Male Black Lab Mix, 2 y/o, 60 lb (from local rescue group)
2. Female Beagle/Shar Pei Mix, 13 y/o, 20 lb (saved from abandoned house in dead of winter 8 years ago)
3. Female Brindle Greyhound Mix, 10 y/o, 45 lb (from local rescue group)
4. Male Gray Tabby Cat, 7 y/o, 5 lb (rescued from vet after being locked in a crate for 3 years)
Because my child was staying with my parents for the holiday since I had to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I put the stuff on all the animals Monday night (July 1st) so that there would be no chance of her getting it on her.
I gave all the dogs Butcher Bones to keep them busy while I went to work Tuesday. Tuesday night, my 2 y/o Black Lab was acting odd, but I just disregarded it. He was acting nervous and a little wobbly . I thought he was just being silly or stressing out because my child (who he protects to no end) had been gone for 2 days.
I fed them their normal wet food at 6 pm Tuesday night. At 4AM, the Black Lab vomited. Luckily I was awake. I immediately cleaned it up and noticed NONE of the canned food pieces had been broken down. It looked like it had just come out of the can. (SORRY for the description, but after 10 hours, food should have begun being digested). Again, I didn’t consider it being the Hartz medicine…I thought he had an obstruction from the Butcher Bones I had given them that morning.
I took him to the vet (Wednesday, July 3rd) and told them the only thing it could possibly be was an obstruction and to go ahead and do surgery if need be. By 5pm, I hadn’t heard anything from my vet and stopped by on my way home. They hadn’t done any x-rays and wasn’t keen on the obstruction idea. I was suppose to be packing up the car and heading to the lake. Why hadn’t they concluded anything after 9 hours? Thank goodness they didn’t listen to me! The vet was in another emergency surgery and the tech said, he’s lethargic, vomiting, and has explosive diarrhea. She asked if I could come back after the vet was finished in surgery.
My boyfriend says, “it sounds like Parvo.” WHAT? That’s insane! They had their vaccines in February! I went home to rest until the vet called. Then it dawned on me…”the flea and tick medicine!!!” That’s when I found your site…THANK GOD! I read 2 other stories and knew that’s what it was. As I called the vet to tell her, I found the Butcher Bone on the porch so I knew it couldn’t be an obstruction.
The story isn’t over…I decide to cancel my plans for the lake. I didn’t want 3 dogs to be in a car for an hour if they weren’t feeling well. I decided to take my Black Lab home Wednesday night. I couldn’t bear the thought of him being stuck at the vet office on the night of July 4th with the fireworks going off…he’d been through enough. The vet’s office had already washed his back that morning because they saw a shiny strip down his back. When I brought him home, I decided to bathe him again. This 2 y/o dog normally digs his nails in and freaks out when its bath time, but not today. I didn’t want to cause him stress and led him to the bathroom. He voluntarily got in the tub on his own! I guess he was telling me to wash this poison off of him. My vet explained that I was lucky. There are 2 kinds of reactions, digestive and neurological. Looks like my lab only had the digestive and would be okay after a few days. The neurological kind normally leads to death.
The morning of July 4th, I have to make an emergency call to my vet. My 20 lb Beagle/Shar Pei mix had thrown up bloody mucous 3 times in 10 minutes around 9AM. Then I notice my 45 lb Greyhound mix is itching non-stop and giving herself whelps! Then I notice the Grey Tabby has lost all the hair on his back where I had put cat specific Hartz medicine and he is twitching every few seconds. I am getting ready to have a meltdown!
I kept a close eye on them. My beagle was getting the last of the poison out of her system. The cat was twitching because the “feeling” from having missing hair along his spine. They all got bland diets and lots of love for the next few days. (Greyhound got Benadryl to help with allergic reaction).
Over the past month, I have pulled several ticks off of the Black Lab.
One month later…THE FREAKING POISON DIDN’T EVEN KILL ANY FLEAS OR TICKS. ALL MY ANIMALS ARE FLEA INFESTED AGAIN! IN FACT, LAB HAS EARMITES; GREYHOUND HAS A YEAST INFECTION IN HER EARS.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD! PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THIS TO YOUR ANIMALS!
No time saved, money or convenience is worth watching your pets suffer.
I’ll keep the fleas…Thank you! Currently trying alternatives, like food grade Diatomaceous Earth, but its not working either.
However, I will never purchase another Hartz product again, including toys, treats, etc.
TELL EVERYONE! HARTZ HARMS YOUR PETS…NOT PESTS!
Great news investigation! However, in 2009 they reported the EPA is investigating these harmful medications. It is now 2013, and these poisons are still widely available in most major store chains! http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Pet_Product_Investigation_Los_Angeles.html
“The products we investigated are flea and tick shampoos and drops sold by major companies like Sergeant’s, Bio Spot, and Hartz,” the article reads. ”They all contain the same type of pesticide, called pyrethrins or the synthetic versions known as pyrethroids. These are the same pesticides in household products like ‘Raid,’ used to kill bugs around your home.”