Last summer, I purchased Hartz Flea & Tick Drops Plus from Walmart and applied it according to directions on our three cats. Within a few hours, one cat (2 yrs old) was staggering and undergoing serious seizures. Another cat (1 yr old) had similar, but much milder symptoms.
Our vet was contacted and urged us to immediately bathe the cats to remove the flee drops. The first cat’s life was in jeopardy and she had to be admitted — the vet bill was estimated at $300 to save her life. We could not afford the treatment, so as my crying teenage daughter held her convulsing cat, we made the sad decision to have the cat put to sleep.
The vet got on the phone to Hartz and was told by the Hartz rep that the drops are safe — that this toxicity incident was most unusual. Our vet was irate as she has personally witnessed animals die from these Harts drop applications. Her persistance got her through to the Hartz doctor on staff who authorized a full reimbursement for our vet bill. So our cat was treated — and her life was saved. But in the end we lost her. There were men working nearby cutting trees as we retrieved her from the vet clinic — and the noise so frightened the cat that even in a severely weakened state, she burst from my daughter’s arms and ran across the freeway behind the clinic. A year later, she remains lost.
Our second cat experienced twitches in his eyes and unsteady walking for a several weeks following the application with the Hartz drops even though we bathed him within hours to remove the medication.
Our vet (Dr. Peggy Leishar from Sycamore Vetrinary Clinic in Joelton, TN) will gladly verify this incident. Her office has a large news article documenting a great number of toxicity indicents due to Hartz and similar flea drop products.
I emailed Walmart to notify them of the danger of this product that they stock in all their stores, but received no response. My daughter and I were absolutely devasted that our efforts to kill fleas nearly cost our cats their lives. We are upset that so many respectable stores carry this Hartz flea drop product. Our vet explained that the Hartz product enters the cat’s bloodstream and does a poor job protecting against fleas. It is difficult to understand how a company dedicated to pet care would produce and market such a cruel product.
We are now using Advantage Flea drops recommended by our vet and our cats have no adverse reaction.
Pleasant View, TN
i usually give my cat frontline when i see she has fleas but now living in a military base i don’t have much choice as cat products. i found hartz care flea and tick drops and decided to give it a try. the first difference i noted between frontline and this product was that frontline limits application to neck area or between shoulder blades while this one was suggesting to put it all the way in a straight line from neck to base of tail. so i did like they say.
my cat was o.k. first day but now a day afterwards she has itching and tries desperately to lick it off. so i decided to bath her like the lable instructs with mild soap and plenty of water. -didn’t work- today she is still scratching and bleeding in all the area i applied the product. i went on-line and noticed that i have an old version of their product, they changed the instructions newer version says to apply like frontline to only neck area.
i rather keep the fleas and see her scratch once in a while that seeing her scratch all day and bleeding.
-and they call this formula gentle!-
My cats name is Shadow. Last week I purchased a Hartz flea collar (as I always do this time of year) and 6 hours later he started howling and limping. he also was running into walls and was very, aggitated. I took him to my veterinarian Dr. Gaylon Simms here in Pell City and was told he had a stroke. He is paralyzed all the way down his right side. We take life day by day, he seems to be responding well to the medication, although we still have a long road ahead of us. I cannot imagine life without my “best friend”. Dr.Simms and I think it was the flea collar ( it was the only “new” thing done or given to him). Dr. Chastain, also here in Pell City, just had a similar case reguarding a Hartz flea collar, that story does not have a happy ending. Please DO NOT use Hartz products until we can find out what is hurting and killing our precious pets!
Bradley is an 89 lb 4 year old previously healthy Boxer. Started using Hartz Once-a-Month Flea & Tick drops UPC 3270098085 two months ago because it was cheaper than Frontline at Walmart. Shortly after the first application Bradley experienced a seizure like episode that appeared that he was in a zombi like trance condition. a few days later his previously beautiful brown coat became discolored with black and bleached out streaks and blotches only on both sides of where the Once-a-Month was applied as per instructions. The loss of hair and discoloration has continued for 2 months. Yesterday I applied the 3rd dose of the third month treatment at 5PM. About 5 hours later he began panting very heavily and drinking large amounts of water even though it was only 55-60 degrees. He stared out in space, again in the zombi like state, with no energy and would almost collapse, fall and stumble at times. He was panting like it was 100 degrees with his tongue hanging out as far as it would go. After providing as much comfort as possible over night he appeared himself the next day, almost. He is still panting more than the temperature would dictate. At this point after reading the information on this site and another, I have scrubbed the Once-a-Month off while also losing 3 big clumps of hair on a short haired boxer. You may have saved Bradley’s life. In any case thanks for making me aware of the danger. I would never have known other wise. My vet has dismissed it as a possible hormone change or allergy. It only happened after application of Once-a-Month.
I just found your web site and I am so thankful!! I went through this almost 3 years ago and I have still not made peace with myself regarding it.
Within 12 hours of treating my cat (Zeus) with Zodiac Spot-On Treatment for cats, Zeus died. My vet was unable to find any problems with Zeus during his autopsy. More test were done and sent to labs. I received the lab results on 6/20/00 and there was nothing wrong with Zeus that could have caused his death. They listed his death as acute and unknown. My vet and I have no other choice but to know that the Zodiac product caused his death. I know it is impossible to prove that a flea treatment caused this death, but we have proven that nothing else had caused his death.
I have spoken with Barbara at Zodiac to quite some
extent and of course nothing has come of this. They
are in complete denial and harbor no responsibility
regarding this mater. 🙁 The good news is that 2 of
the news stations here have done some stories about this matter, which is great! I have contacted Zodiac directly and they have taken this “case” to forward to their corporate offices that are supposed to contact me that next week…still nothing 3 years later!! I hope to go forward with this and get the word out.
To anyone reading this, please take this information and caution seriously.
I purchased Hartz plus cat and kitten flea and tick drops (sensitive) (under 10 lbs) for my 1 yr old cat at Winn Dixie on 2533 Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach, Florida. (850) 234-1200. Ingredients Phenothrin (batch 26002-08-2) 85.7% and Methoprene (65733-16-6) 2.9% The first time I used it I noticed the cat react bizarre after I applied it behind his neck. Scratching and licking as much off as he could. That was approximately 2 months ago. Last night 2/9/03….I put the second dose on him. Immediately the same reaction and then he ran outside. When he returned 4 hours later, he was severly shaking (all muscles) and not able to properly walk. His eyes were dialated. I looked at the hartz box and there was no warnings about reactions. I looked on the web at Hartz.com and said this:
“Q: How can I determine if my pet is having a reaction to a pesticide?
A: When used correctly, it is unlikely there will be any side effects to your animal. HOWEVER, sensitivities may occur after using ANY pesticide product for pets. If signs of sensitivity occur, immediately bathe your pet with a mild non-pesticide soap and rinse with large amounts of water. If signs continue, consult a veterinarian. If your veterinarian has any questions, he/she may contact the Hartz? Control Pet Care System? hotline directly at 1-800-275-1414.”
I immediately called them. They were closed. SO I bathed my cat with regular shampoo for humans and then dried him with a towel and prayed he would be better in the morning since I couldn’t afford after hours vet care. I did give him a tiny bit of benedryl in case he was having an allergic reaction to it. This caused vomiting and foaming at the mouth. He wouldn’t eat or drink.
He remained this way all evening, and was better this morning. Although he is still having slight rear walking problems. I called Hartz this morning and they acted so surprised I had a problem with this product and instructed me to send it back to them and they would reimburse me for it. After reading many weblinks about it, this product should be pulled off the shelves!!! I then emailed the EPA link on your website and also emailed my story to HARTZ. We’ll see what the reaction is!
Yesterday I applied the Hartz Flea and Tick Drops Plus on my 1 yr old Persian cat. A few hours later her pupils were very dilated and she was having seizures. I called poison control and then rushed her to our ER vet. She stayed overnight and was treated for Phenothrin Toxicosis. She is home and doing better although she is having some trouble walking sometimes. I am shocked after all the info I have read on the web today. If I can do anything to help get this off the market please let me know. I lost my mother 3 months ago and I don’t think I could have handled losing Lily last night too! She has been such a comfort to me. By the way, her vet bill was almost $600. They should do something about that too.