Death/Health issues of EIGHT PETS

Growing up I had heard about Hartz food, cat food, turtlefood, bird food etc. had heard of ‘flea collars’, so when for the first time we had a ‘flea problem’ we went to the store to get products that were to control and elimanate the fleas…

the product we got was Hartz Control1 for flea n ticks….reading the directions…shake well before using, treat entire area using fine mist, allow to completely dry before walking in area, we were told over the phone not to let animals back in the area for at least ONE HOUR after spraying…

after spraying we kept the cats and dogs out of the area for SIX hours, we wanted to make sure all areas were dry, we even had fans blowing in all the rooms that were sprayed.

shortly after letting the animals back into the area…the cats started acting differently… Sir Spike, who usually is quite the ham became listless, his eyes lost their sparkle, he started twitching, moaning, gasping for air, had diarreaha, we use an eye dropper to give him saline solution and give him ‘O2″, which seemed to do some good…for a while…then just after I had gone to bed, I heard this horrid noise…Sir Spike was attempting to crawl into where Paul was sleeping…but he could not make it…he was screaming in pain, his head was arched back all the way to his back, he had NO control over the use of his legs, again he was gasping for air, fluid was coming out of his nose, there was no light in his eyes again, the skin around his ears, eyes, mouth…including the area around his teeth/gums… were pale, there was no pink coloring at all…with his sides heaving as he continue to fight to live the last gasp of air went out of his body…Paul refused to give up, for an hour more he continued to do ‘cpr’, trying to force air into Sir Spikes lungs, to get his heart to beat again, stroking and putting his face close, hoping for any sign of life…finally with tears pouring down his face he let me take Sir Spike away…. since it was well after midnight I had to wait till morning to bury Sir Spike… just as the sun was coming up I placed him between a might oak and a sturdy pine…

going back into the house I notice Mitzie was sitting on a chair with her head hanging down…I remarked to Paul that Mitzie was in ‘mourning’ for Sir Spike…MItzie was the eldest of all the cats, Sir Spike was only 7 yrs old… for most of the day she did not move from the chair, refusing to eat or drink, when she did get up, she had no balance…her legs gave out from under her… late afternoon while I was gone, Mitzie started screaming in pain, Paul was home alone with her and the other animals, she started throwing up, diarreha, thrashing about, gasping for air. Paul tried to comfort her, again trying to give her water and ‘O2’….nothing worked…her screams of pain grew louder until she just stopped breathing…I walked in the door just as she died…Paul came out of the bedroom with tears pouring down his face again, he didnt have to say a word, I knew she was gone, once again I had to go out to the might oak and sturdy pine, placing Mitzie a few feet away from Sir Spike, her campanion in life…

for the second night in around, both of us were unable to sleep, it was hard losing two of our ‘furry friends’, not really knowing WHAT had caused this to happen… we racked our brains WHAT??? HOW??
we knew that it had to be from something INSIDE the house, because NONE of the cats ever went outside!! only the two dogs…

about an hour after Paul finally got up from tossing an turning all night, he went to feed the rest of the cats…once again we were to go thru this horror! Little Bear started flopping over, unable to stand, his eyes lost the sparkle, Paul started yelling and I started screaming NO NO NO NOT AGAIN, NOOOOOO…. I grabbed Little Bear and put him in a box, wrapping him snuggly and raced for the door, grabbing my keys and shoes as I flew out the door…I put the box with Little Bear in the front seat next to me and drove as fast as I dared to get him to the vet….when I got there the vet took his temp which was 104, he had fluid coming out of his nose…the vet asked me questions, “had I given them anything new to eat?? what was the health of the other animals, I told him that two other cats has just died…please dont let this one die also!!!
he gave him a shot and then gave me some amoxicillian to give him once I got him home… I could tell in the short ride home that the shot was working…he had wrapped his paws/body around my hand and held on the whole way back home…
Paul was afraid to come out to the car when I got back…when he saw that Little Bear was doing better he just picked him up and kept talking to him…

now two days after I had sprayed the product, a fourth cat was acting different than normal, Baby was sleeping standing up on top of a window air conditioner…letting the full blast of cold air blow on him…he did come down to eat a tiny bit and to drink some water…then he would jump back up onto the air conditioner…in one of his jumps, he lost his balance…and ‘we thought’ he had bit his lip or tonge, cause blood started coming out of his mouth…we gave him an ice cube to suck on … he likes playing with ice cubes… and the bleeding seemed to stop…

later that day, talking with Paul I suggested that maybe we better take all the animals to be checked because by now Sammy, 5yr old Brittney Spaniel. had two open sores on his head and nose… I cleaned them out and put first aid cream on them, to this date they HAVE NOT healed up!! all these sicknesses and death started happening on 11 Aug ’03, it is now 6 Sept ’03!!! I called a local vet up, told him what had been going on…he said bring them all in… the vet checked the sores and stated at first he was not sure what caused them but they should heal right up…he did note that both dogs had lost weight…their ribs were sticking out…told him that Sammy had a mild case of diarreha and was panting very heavyly…seeming to stare off in the distence even tho he was sitting in the cornor staring at the wall…
Peanut, 7month old Shitzu, had lost weight but seemed to be ok…

When I had gotten home from the vet, I was telling Paul what had been said when I looked over at Baby…there was blood pouring from his mouth!!!…I grabbed him and raced back up to the vet…he was bleeding inside and had been for awhile…his weight had dropped from 22 lbs to 10.7 lbs. the vet kept him for two days…
Little Bear dropped from 22 lbs to 11.4 lbs… the vet kept him for two days
Mickey Moose was running a fever also and dropped from 25 lbs to 10.5 lbs … the vet kept him for two days
the three ‘boys’ will be two years old on 14 Sept ’03
Mama Squeek, the mother of the three ‘boys’, dropped from 18 lbs to 7.2 lbs she was able to come home…tho very upset not to have her babies with her….kept howling and looking for them

All six cats were Maine Coon Cat mixes, they are known for being BIG cats with many toes, only Mitzie and Baby had normal feet…the resthad 7-8 toes per paw…

while I was racking my brain to figure out what could have caused all this…my neighbor suggest I call Posion Control and talk with them…I told them what product I had used and when…they stated to me that this product was EXTREMELY toxic!!! I took the container of Control1 for flea n tick to the vet and he stated he had written several letters concerning the toxic ingrediance in this product…

Talking with Hartz, they asked me to ‘dig up and bring the cats to the vets to be shipped to a lab in Illinois for testing’ I could NOT dig them up, talking with animal control, they agreed to dig up the cats for me…not something they usually do, but in this case had no problem doing it. I did take the cats to the vet and they were shipped off. as of yet I have NOT heard from Hartz as to what the results are/were. they also asked me to send them the ‘receipt and product bar code’ which I did send the bar code but not the receipt cause it was thrown away with the shopping bag.

I know that this is a long story, yet it does not even touch how deeply the death of our cats has affected us, nor the continuous illness of the rest of the animal. Paul is terminally ill, the two cats that died were his…he had them from the time they were born…they kept him going after his heart attack/stroke/ and coma…their death has hit him very hard…depression that he can not shake…still calling out to them…Sir Spike used to curl up in the crook of Pauls arm when he slept or when he was on his computer…Mitzie knew when Paul was not feeling good and would use her body to warm the spot in his back that hurt the most, no need for a hot water bottle!!! even tho the rest of the cats are slowly gain some weight back, they still are not as playful and active as they were…there are days that they still are running a fever

we are hoping/needing a lawyer to help us with this case…since I have talked with friends of mine from all over the US I have been sent even more horror stories…. I really wish that I had heard about this before this happen… yes they had pulled this product off the shelf…but re-naming it and putting it back did NOT correct the situation!!!

Dr. Paul Brown,PhD & Barbara Hernandez

Over the weekend my mother had bought some Hartz flea shampoo for my dog. By Wednesday of that week Molly had begin to vomit. By Thursday she was unable to eat any dog food because she could not keep it down. She vomited at least seven times Thursday evening. Thursday night she also started having diarrhea. At 12:00am her face started to swell, so bad she could barely see. When I called the vet he told me to bring her in first thing the next morning. When I got up the next morning to take her to the vet, I noticed that her swelling had gotten worse over night and she was now breaking out in hives. The vet said that Molly had had an allergic reaction. Last night I noticed that her chest had what looked to be blood under the skin. The swelling in her face has went down, but has moved to her chest and her shoulders. I am stilling keeping a close eye on her, hoping that I acted in time.


I am a volunteer and Board member for the Nittany Beagle Rescue in State College, PA. About a month ago, the President moved to Maine and I decided to keep one of the little guys that had been up for adoption. This little guy’s name is Boy and that’s his name because his owner (of 8 years) couldn’t have cared less about him and didn’t even give him a name. He hadn’t seen a vet until he came to the rescue and right before he came, he had a hematoma removed from his left ear. Now, he has a chronic yeast infection in his ears and one of his ears are actually crinkled. On Wednesday night, I purchased Hartz flea and tick to give to my dogs. At 8 pm I gave Boy his dose (keep in mind that I gave him the 18-33 lb dose and he’s 28 lbs). A half hour later he had a Grand Mal seizure. He vomitted 5 times uncontrollably before I could get him in the car to go to the hospital. I can’t tell you how much this entire experience has broken my heart. He should be okay but has to stay in the hospital for another day. TELL EVERYONE NOT TO PURCHASE HARTZ PRODUCTS. I can’t believe that there is a product on the market that nearly killed my baby Boy.

Victim of Hartz

Last year we bouhgt Hartz flea drops for our dogs. We put the drops on the dogs as directed and within a few days, we noticed all the hair coming off the dogs where we had put the drops. We contacted Hartz and told them what had happened to our dogs. They refunded our money. Now we go to the vet to get our flea drops. Something has to be wrong with this product.

Linda Harbin
Whitesburg, Tennessee

Hartz needs to be held responsible.

I have four cats. Two of them are fairly big. Two are small, around 4 pounds. Since the drops only came in a pack of 3, I decided to use a full tube on each of the bigger cats, and split the last between the two smaller ones. About 4 hours later, my Svetlana came staggering up to my son, who then brought her to me. She was trembling and convulsing and couldn’t catch her breath. After about an hour of this, she went into some VERY severe seizures. I thought that I had lost her. Since it was on a Saturday night, the emergency vet told me it would cost me about $500 to help her. I definitely can’t afford that. I don’t mind spending money to keep my pets healthy, but it really makes me angry to be pressured to spend ridiculous amounts because of an uncaring, greedy company, (Hartz, of course). I want this product off the market once and for all. I know that it can be done. I am willing to help in any way I can. It was heartbreaking to watch that poor little cat suffer, especially at my own hands. Hartz definitely needs to answer to this.

Penni Herrick

I went out to wal-mart to purchase some Hartz products for my animals. Not knowing what I would experience. I put the drops on my two cats and 1 dog. I used the spray for the kitten. Thirty minutes after putting this on my little kitten he began having convulsions. We took him to our emergancy vet after we were told to wash him three times and wash all the other animals as well. The vet thought he might have pulled thru the ordeal but the next morning we awoke to him in pain and having several convulsions one right after the other. We had to rush him back to our vet and they are treating him but they are not sure if he will pull thru or not. He is fighting for his life at this moment. No one should have to go thru this nightmare. Our animals are our childern, whom we love very much. To watch something you love in pain from a product you thought as safe is crazy. Instead of the product saying “kills tick and fleas” it should say “kills your pets on contact”. I wonder if Hartz would treat their own animals with the product they market and swears it’s safety. I pray we can take them down one day. I sit and worry every minute and pray I don’t get a phone call telling me the worst.

Penni Herrick

Hartz Poisons My Alfie

One year and eight months ago I applied Hartz Flea drops to my cat, Alfie. I never realized there was trouble with this product. Frankly, I had been using it for years on two of my other cats and friends cats when they stayed with me. I am surprised I never poisoned a cat before Alfie. So, in all confidence I bought them at the store (the gentle formula as it was new and I thought better). I always apply flea meds on the 18th of the month at around 6 PM. Unknowingly I went off to bed.

At 5 AM I awoke to feed my pets and give Cativo his insulin shot. I noticed Alfie under a chair but didn’t think much about it. When I returned, I still noticed Alfie under a chair, only this time I noticed he was shaking. I went over and tried to get him out, he couldn’t move. I don’t know how I made the connection, but I immediately thought he’d been poisoned. It was the first time Alfie had anything besides Revolution for kittens. I had just moved and thank God I had asked my new vet for directions to the ER vet in case my beloved Cativo had hypoglycemia.

I rushed to the phone and called the ER vet’s office. They told me to wash his back as best I could and rush him there. The entire time I was so scared I would lose him. He looked so frightened and helpless. I scrubbed as much off as I could, put him in his carrier and rushed out the door with the Hartz package in hand.

When I arrived at the ER vet, they immediately went to work bathing him and pumping him full of IVs. The ER vet looked at the package and said, “Hartz? Never use Hartz. If you have to use over-the-counter, use bio-spot or something but never Hartz.” I said, “If that’s the case, why doesn’t anyone warn us?” I never did get a satisfactory answer. I was there two hours while they fought for Alfie’s life.

Later, I drove Alfie to my regular vet with the other three cats in tow. I wasn’t going to take any chances. I still didn’t know if it was just the gentle formula or all Hartz. My regular vet amazingly told me the same thing, Hartz is the most common cause of this reaction. I asked him why my other cats had never reacted. He said he didn’t know. What he told me is that Hartz, Revolution and Advantage use different formulas with different main ingredients. The ingredient in Hartz seems to have the most adverse reactions. I left Alfie there for treatment and my other cats to have baths and to be observed for reactions.

When I got to work, I called my old vet. He told me the same thing. Three vets in three different cities with the same story! If this was so well known, how is it that I didn’t know? Why was this killer product still on the shelves?

Alfie cost me almost $300 that day, but thank God Hartz didn’t cost him his life. I have heard this story over and over since then and Hartz remains on the shelves. If this has happened to you, I encourage you to tell everyone you see in the pet ailse at the stores or in a petstore. Talk to your local stores and encourage them to pull Hartz. Talk to your vet about always asking what flea medication their clients use or display a prominent sign that Hartz can kill! Talk to your shelters about warning new adopters never to use Hartz flea drops on their cats. Send your story to your local newspaper, radio station or TV station. The more who know, the more chance of saving lives.


Zanne and Alfie