Sunny died from Hartz Ultra Guard Flea and Tick Drops for Cats

From an email from Sarah in Michigan:

“Our cat died this weekend shortly after I put Hartz Ultra Guard Flea and Tick Drops for Cats on him. He was only 3 years old, we had rescued him from a local shelter a few months ago and have been battling fleas since we got him. Saturday it was time for more flea meds, so I got all the animals together (I had two cats and a dog) and put on their meds. I went about my day, never dreaming that there would be any problems. Later that day, I found our cat, Sunny, standing in the middle of my bed convulsing and salivating. I grabbed him and took him the living room, calling my husband. We had no idea what was going on, but Sunny was convulsing and totally unresponsive, while I was on the phone calling the vet, Sunny had what appeared to be a major seizure followed by him losing his bowels and urine. I got in touch with an afterhours vet and described his symptoms, she asked if he had been exposed to any poisons, I told her I didn’t think so. I went through our day, feeding, putting flea meds on, she stopped me as soon as I mentioned that I had used Hartz flea medicine on him and said, get him in right away, he is suffering from toxification from the flea medicine. We ran him to the vet, as soon as we got there she gave him an “antidote” and we washed all of the medicine off of him. He was convulsing so severely that she had to intubate him and anesthetize him so that his temperature didn’t get too high.

“Unfortunately, even though we tried for several hours, we could not save him. The vet told us that this is not that uncommon and that the Hartz products are some of the worst culprits. I cannot believe that this product can be legally sold. If it kills one cat out of a million it is one too many! My eight year old son had to watch his cat suffer and then helped to bury him the next day, all because of a product that was supposed to help him!!! We are heartbroken and on top of everything else we now have a $569.00 vet bill we can’t pay. I am attaching a picture of Sunny, I do not have any pictures of him intubated and hooked to an IV, it was not a memory I wanted to keep. This picture is him before we used this poison on him. He was a great cat and did not deserve to die like this.”


4 thoughts on “Sunny died from Hartz Ultra Guard Flea and Tick Drops for Cats”

  1. I am terribly sorry that your cat Sunny had to suffer because you were trying to help him.
    I experienced the same horrible situation with my 4 yr. old cat, Tigger.
    In Feb. 2011, a neighbor brought fleas into my home & the cats got them. I never used flea Meds on the cats before because they stay indoors & my dog was always treated with frontline. Well, I made the grave mistake in buying Hartz flea powder. I applied it to all 4 cats, and the 1 that was effected was Tigger. It was awful for me to see him suffer & ultimately die.
    Hartz is a Horrible company & I would love nothing more than to make the head of that company ingest their product. I know that’s an evil thing to say, but they know what their product does & still they sell it without concern.
    I’m very sorry your son had to witness that.
    I wish I could tell you there was a way to stop them, but it just doesn’t seem possible, as this has been happening for years.
    Please know that it’s not your fault. That feeling was hard for me to get over. Losing Tigger was very painful as he was the cat that slept with me always.
    My story was submitted to this site back in Feb. 2011, about a week after Tigger’s death. Sadly there are new stories daily.

  2. In commenting on the sad death of your cat Sunny, I wrote the year wrong about the death of my cat Tigger, my loss was in Feb.2012.
    I just wanted to correct my error.
    Again, I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

  3. I can’t believe that I, of all people, did not research this on the internet before I used it. I am usually a stickler for doing my homework and this time I did not. My internet has not been working well. I used the Hartz Ultraguard Plus on our cat and 2 kittens (8 months old( I had just finished with the third when the first one started having a reaction. I got him under the faucet and started flushing his mouth and used a wet towel and soap to wash his neck. I also got to the other kitten and washed as much off as I could. The mother has never been totally comfortable with us and I could not get her to stay for me to try to get it off. But I wasn’t too worried because she was not trying to lick it or itching at it with her foot and licking that like the first one did, so I just kept an eye on her for about 6 hours and she seemed fine. I went to bed and woke up a few hours later. I went downstairs to check on the cats and the mom was just sitting there and hissing. She stopped for a minute and I started to pet her head and she was find for a minute and then all of a sudden just hissed, but didn’t try to attack me or anything. Then she started to vigorously itch the back of her neck with her back foot which was spreading it down the side and she was licking it off from her. I tried at that point to get a cloth and try to clean it off, but she kept hissing at me and running away. She keeps coming to me for attention, but I can’t get anything near her neck and she runs off. I can’t afford a vet, there is just no way. This is my step daughters cat that she wasn’t supposed to get in the first place and dropped it off at our house 1 week after our dog passed away and the kicker was that it turned out to be pregnant. I had the mom and 2 kittens fixed, but that is all I am planning to spend on these cats. I am attached to them but already have 1 kitten going to a good home, but I am afraid the mom might die or be permanently damaged by this Hartz product and I feel responsible because I did not do any research. I would not have bought it, I would have spent the extra for Frontline if I had read about how damaging Hartz and other cheap brands can be to the poor cats.
    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  4. I am also one of those people who research everything before they buy it. I bought Sergeant’s Gold flea medication for my cats. AFTER I had applied it I started reading these horrible stories. I knew Hartz had a bad rep but didn’t realize Sergeant’s was just as bad. After I started reading I immediately went and bathed all 3 of my cats to try and get as much of it off as I could. They seem fine but my middle cat (age 8) has a big bare, irritated spot where it was applied. I am upset at myself for not knowing better and praying that’s the worst that happens. These companies need to be put out of business.

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