My kittens have reached 8 weeks, but for the last 2- days were suffering miserably from too many fleas. I couldn’t afford a vet appointment right away, and I am also relinquishing these kittens to our local SPCA in 3 days. (I took them to the SPCA in Richmond, VA 2 weeks ago, where part of their treatment and pre-relinquishing was to have Frontline administered. It appears this was overlooked–ALWAYS FOLLOW-UP WITH PROFESSIONALS–NEVER ASSUME AS I DID!)
So, I rushed to Walmart last night–the only place opened after 9PM, and purchased Hartz Flea & Tick Repellent–spray. To begin with, the front label does say for Cats, but on the back of the bottle, the only label I saw was one face label, and it didn’t mention anything such as “do not use on kittens 12 weeks or under”. But I wanted to be cautious, anyway, so I already planned to bath the kittens 10-minutes after applying it, because the back label does state that it begins to kill fleas after 10 minutes. HOWEVER, after 7 minutes, I noticed the smallest of our kittens foaming at the mouth. I rushed her to the sink and rinsed her off in luke-warm water with milk bath (grasping for something mild.) This probably saved her, but she continued to salivate heavily in a lethargic state for over the next few hours. I stayed up until 4 AM, being able to force only a small amount of chicken broth with sugar added, and then a little water (with a small dropper) to try to avoid her dehydrating to death.
The second-smallest kitten stayed in a complete “dumb-looking” lethargic state the entire night until morning. It is now 12:15 Noon the next day, and he still isn’t out of the state completely. Same goes for the first, kitten mentioned above–she is still intermittantly salivating just a little, and very tired, but finally over the worst.
The largest of the 3 kittens did not seem effected at all, but I did wash them all immediately after the realization of the first kitten foaming at the mouth.
THEN, because the Hartz product did not kill most of the fleas, the remaining fleas accumulated on all of the kittens faces (where I knew not to use any flea-control product on a small animal), and I had to take them all back to the sink and dilute Blue Dawn Dish Detergent with water and aggressively rub it around their faces for 5-10 minutes each to kill most of these fleas.
When my fiance asked me this morning to retrieve the Hartz spray out of the garbage so he could read everything on the bottle, he noticed in fine, red print at the bottom of the back label, “for full precautions and directions for use, peel back here”. I didn’t even see this on the label when I bought it. The inner labels and cautions do state not to use on kittens under 12 weeks, but this should have been a clear, obvious statement on the back-face label as other products that I perused, had. Even, still, after the traumatic event we all went through all night, I will never use this product–or any other over-the-counter pet-aid product, again, for ANY pet.
I also kicked myself because during this problem, I remembered it was Hartz that caused this same problem for a litter of kittens that I had over 10-years ago. I should have known. They had all survived, but probably had Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome–
Kittens come too close to death, or die, if this product is used. And I can see why the same results would come from any given “over the counter” product.
If I had only just used the BLUE Dawn Dish Detergent already on hand, instead of the Hartz, the fleas would have been dead in 5 minutes with no negative effects to the kittens. This had been a cheap and very successful flea treatment that I was told about and used 15 years ago. (I have tried the other DAWN COLORS of Dish Detergent, but THEY DID NOT WORK LIKE THE BLUE-COLORED DAWN DISH DETERGENT.)
***So if you, like I was, are looking for an immediate flea treatment that you can find quickly for 100% FLEA-KILLING RELIEF for Dogs or Cats (I haven’t used this on any other animals, yet…) until you can get to your veterinarian, use BLUE DAWN DISH DETERGENT diluted with water–it works in 5 MINUTES. DO NOT BUY HARTZ. DO NOT USE DIPS–Just don’t use anything with these POISONOUS INGREDIANTS.