Friday night, I noticed my 20-pound Pyrenees pup had lots of fleas so, thinking I was being a responsible owner, I applied the “best” Hartz flea/tick product I could get. Not long after this junk was applied, Silas went from being an energetic ball of fun to a trembling lump of fur on the floor. The symptoms he exhibited were:
- Extreme lethargy
- Extremely dry nose/mouth
- Gurgling, labored breathing
- Extreme lack of coordination when walking
- Elevated heart rate
- Fluttering eyes
I called my local emergency vet clinic and was instructed to immediately give him a thorough bath in Dawn detergent to remove any product from him that I could, and encourage him to eat and drink as much as possible. He seemed all right for a minute or two, then it all started again. I couldn’t deal with the possibility of something worse happening to him; he seemed like he could have died at any moment. It was terrifying. I didn’t have money in my bank account but remembered that I had recently gotten a credit card for emergencies. I was SO GRATEFUL!! I took him in, and he started acting fine once we got there. Still tripped every now and then, but what the vet said was quite disturbing. I took the box the treatment came in, and she said that it had basically poisoned my boy, and got him reaaaaally drunk. She said it looked like he had passed the risks the toxicity could have caused at that point, but was still recovering from the alcohol content. She prescribed medications to help with his tremors, and he was just fine the next day.
I posted my outrage on Facebook, where I got several responses from vet techs, friends who work in clinics, and a friend who actually had a very similar instance occur with her dog, all of which stated that Hartz (along with brands such as Bio-Spot, Pet Armor, Sentry, and Sergeant) is very known for doing this to pets, and that it is not uncommon for it to cause death.. So Silas and I got lucky!! I just can’t believe, especially not after reading these horror stories on here.. My most sincere condolences to everyone who lost a loved critter.. that these awful, despicable companies are still in business!! I swear it, if something worse had happened to my boy, I’d be typing this out from a jail cell, even though burning a building to the ground is nowhere near as evil as knowingly killing many loved pets and family members.