My five yeor old daughter looked at the local Humane Society Animal Shelter for a kitten for four days trying to pick the perfect kitten. After finally deciding on the perfect pet, she adoped “Drew” who she renamed “Tiger”, a 12 week old orange and white kitten that was absolutely adorable! We brought Tiger home and fed him, set up his new bed, litter box, etc. He was perfect for my daughter… loved to be held, purred, and was already litter box trained from the shelter! After a few hours, we noticed that Tiger was covered in fleas. We tried to get them off by combing them out, but were unsuccessful. I had some of the Hartz Control One Spot for Cats and Kittens left from last year that I had used on our 10 year old cat all last summer (and he had never had any reactions.) The label specifically said that it was for “cats AND KITTENS”, so I treated Tiger with one of the applications just before dinner. We played outside with him for about another hour before putting him in his bed so that we could sit down to dinner. When my daughter went to get him after dinner, he had curled up in his bed and was resting, so she went to get her bath and played for a while. We heard Tiger meowing really loudly, so we went to check on him – this was about 3-4 hours after the application of the Hartz medicine. Tiger was trying to get back into his bed from the litter box, but his back legs were completely imobile and he had defacated all over the back of his legs. We instantly picked him up and he had almost become limp, but was still meowing loudly. I tried to wash him off, but noticed that his front legs were now befoming imobile. I looked on the back of the Hartz box for possible side effects. It did not list any, but said for sensitivity to medicine to wash off with lots of water. I then began to wring warm water from the sink over Tiger’s back and body. I wrapped him in warm towels and we held him as he continued to meow and suffer. Tiger died during the night… less than 8-12 hours of the Hartz application and less than 24 hours of picking out the perfect pet for my daughter. Please get the word out about this deadly medicine so no other families will have to suffer the loss of their dear pets.
At the beginning of the summer, I applied Hartz flea and tick drops to my two dogs and three of my cats. They had absolutely no adverse reactions, but because the product seemed ineffective- I did not bother using it again. And now I read these terrible stories- to think I put my precious babies at risk! I will let everyone I talk to about the risk and this site dedicated to the education of those risks. But there must be something more that can be done! Is there a type of open letter that we can send to local retailers? That would really make some of us luckyones feel a whole lot better. Feel free to contact me. [email protected]
Our cats are indoor-only and we’d never had a problem with fleas, but they were infested by a pet-sitter who brought them into our house with her belongings. Being clueless, we bought some Hartz Advanced Care Flea & Tick drops.
About 10 minutes after receiving his application, our 18-pound cat, Pippen, was crying and drooling profusely. He was running around frantically. I immediately suspected a reaction to the Hartz and washed it off him. He stopped drooling after that but seemed listless. We took him to the vet, and to our horror, were told that the vet sees over a dozen cases a year of DEATHS caused by reaction to the Hartz. We were lucky that Pippen didn’t have seizures, another common reaction that our vet sees on a regular basis. We were also incredibly lucky that none of our other cats experienced a reaction. For Hartz to claim that reactions are caused by mis-application is ridiculous. We are educated people and can read and follow simple directions. Our vet says that Hartz side-steps any legal action by relabeling the instructions rather than producing a safe product when complaints arise. Since a lawsuit against Hartz, if won, would only compensate for the ridiculously low “monetary value” of a family pet, it is financially unrealistic for most pet owners to go into litigation against a company with huge legal resources.
We are conducting our own personal boycott against any and all Hartz products. Since we own 18 cats, we buy a LOT of pet products.
On May 15, 2003, I applied Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops for Cats on my 4 year old cat, Ashley. Within hours, she was running around the house, freaking out. The next morning, she was trembling and I brought her to my vet. The vet was not surprised that Ashley was suffering and told me they felt the product should be removed from store shelves. The vet bill was $318.00 and Ashley spent the day receiving IV fluids and injections to combat the damage from the drops. Ashley was not the same after that incident. She didn’t eat well, never purred, stared off into space and was just generally not “right.”
Early in the morning on June 16, my neighbor knocked on my door to tell me that Ashley was dead on the lawn.
Did Hartz kill Ashley? I don’t know. My vet says that it’s possible the product affected her liver and kidneys.
I’ve contacted Hartz and they have requested a diagnostic report from my vet and copies of any bills.
I’ve contacted several retailers in Carmichael, CA to get the word out about this deadly product. I will do whatever I can to keep this from happening to others.
Thank you for this website.
Dr. Fisher wrote in last week and said “As a former veterinarian at Hartz, I can accurately state that we DO NOT produce the Zodiac product line.”
It was late when I received this e-mail and I immediately responded by saying something to the effect of Hartz products are a bunch of garbage. I then asked Dr. Fisher why he was no longer with Hartz.
This was his response:
Actually, if you read the ingredients, the Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Product line has the exact same ingredients as Zodiac, Frontline and Bio Spot. Cats are very sensitive with chemicals and can and do have reactions to certain chemicals in flea treatments. Other companies report just as many reactions as the Hartz company does. In fact, most of the Hartz reports states that the owner either applied the solution inappropriately, or used the wrong product all togehter (i.e. dog product on cats or did not know the weight of the pet and purchased the wrong product for that size of pet.)
The EPA did not recall the Hartz brands, all they asked is that Hartz relabel products so that consumers were more aware on how to apply the product.
As a veterinarian, I have seen just as many cases of chemical toxcity from other flea treatment products as well, it is that Hartz makes it very easy and clear for the consumer to contact the company if anything should occur. Other companies make it more difficult for the consumer to be heard.
Since you asked, I left Hartz to take a position as an Associate Professor at a School of Veterinary Medicine.
on 6/16/03 I used the Hartz Flea and Tick drops on my 1yr old cat. Everything seemed fine the next morning, but around 1:30pm I recieved a call at work from my husband who said my cat was freaking out. So I rush home to find her in convulsions. I immediately take her to the vet thinking she had antifreeze poison. When my vet asked me if I had applied a flea treatment to her, I said yes, I used Hartz. She begins to tell me horror stories about this product. It has only been 2 days, my kitty has survived but still has the occasional tremor. I have to feed her with a small baby bottle to keep her hydrated. Today is her better day by far, but I wonder what the long term effects of this product will be?
My darling little 14 week old kitten went into tremors and shock after applying a flea product made by Hartz. Is there not a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer?
I applied Hartz to my 86.4 lb lab recently and the next morning he had a very severe seizure. I was only aware of the dangers for cats, but apparently Hartz is also extremely dangerous for dogs – even big dogs! I took him to the vet immediately and he stayed all day for observation. After the flea and tick treatment was washed from his fur, he had no other problems and has been fine ever since.
If anyone has information about getting this product off the shelves, please let me know. I would like to lobby some stores in my local area at the very least, but a nationwide effort would be much more effective. According to a number of articles I have read, the Hartz Mountain Corporation is aware of this problem and were re-labeling their boxes in November 2002, but in my opinion, a ‘cautionary’ label is not going to save enough animals’ lives. The general public needs to be informed of these dangers before more of our beloved pets become victims.
My email is [email protected] if you have any info.
I used Hartz Control Flea and Tick Replent spray on my cat Merlyn. It was horrible, he started frothing at the mouth, his eyes glazed over and he wouldn’t move. When he did move, he ran like he was trying to get away from it. Luckily he didn’t have convulsions nor did he have to go to the vet. I felt so bad for him though and didn’t realize until just a few days ago that this brand of product was such a problem! I found out on a message board I’m apart of and I give my deepest sympathies to anyone who has lost or almost lost a pet. I am now and forever boycotting Hartz products and will tell anyone who wants to listen my story and anyone else’s story I read.
Hartz almost killed my cat. At the time she was only 3 years old, I naively bought some flea spray for pets cause I lived on the east coast at the time, and was dealing with the yearly infestation. I was going out of town for the weekend, but before I left I tried to spray my cat with the flea spray. I only got alittle on her tummy, but she squirmed too much so I just let her go. While I was gone, I had a friend look in on my baby. So when I arrived home late on a sunday night, I read the note on the door saying she was fine and everything went well. But upon entering the apartment I noticed something was very wrong. Tasha just sat huddled up on the floor. She normally would have run up to greet me. I tried to get her to eat some food. And she wasn’t at all interested. That was the dead give away that something was wrong. She’ll eat practically anything at all times. I tried putting water on my fingertips and having her drink it. With minimal results. I called the emergency vet as she crawled slowly onto my lap. Her eyes were glazed over, and she started going into convulsions. I finally reached my vet on the phone. He had been on another emergency call delivering kittens. I described the symptoms, and he told me to just keep an eye on her until the morning. Before I hung up I remembered the blockade, and mentioned it to him. He said “oh my god. She may be dying. Get her to my clinic right away, i’ll meet you there.” Well, after a syringe and a half of atropine, and some small pill put down her throat, he saved my wonderful cats life. She is now 16 years old and going strong, thanks to him. (Thank you so much Dr. Mclawhorn of n.c., I owe you so much.) I think Hartz owes me the $50.00 the vet bill cost me, as well as some for pain and suffering. I have boycotted all hartz products and refuse to buy anything else of theirs, ever. And whenever I can share my story with someone, I do. I have heard countless other accounts of many animals dying of this product produced by Hartz. I hope one day they will be put out of business for their careless and dangerous products. What is it they really care about, when the animals they are supposed to serve suffer?