On July 11th, 2008, I purchased Sergeants Gold Flea & Tick treatment from Wal-Mart to treat a beginning flea issue with my 13 month old Chihuahua Weezy. Weezy is the sweetest, most submissive dog ever. Within an hour and a half of applying the solution per the manufacturer directions, Weezy became extremely distressed. He began to run around maniacal, whimpering and yelping. He would drop at my feet rolling in the carpets, rubbing against anything he could drop his backside against. I immediately called the 800# on the back of the box to report and seek aid. The operator suggested he “may” be suffering a reaction to the treatment and advised to give him a bath with Dawn, Joy or Palmolive dish detergent. Weezy’s right ear and eye were extremely swollen, red and feverish. The Sergeants agent said ‘‘usually” removal of the product with the dish detergent would relieve symptoms and proceeded to give me a claim number regarding the complaint/call. The CSR (Customer Service Rep) also suggested that if symptoms persisted to have my pet see his vet immediately.
My daughter and I washed Weezy 3 times in a head to toe bath of Palmolive, in which during that time he stood unusually tolerant in the sink as if to say “Thank You” while his glazed over, sad eyes looked into mine.
My heart beat in sheer panic and heavily affected in his distress. After bathing, drying and attempting to comfort Weezy, I applied a drop of milk into his eye in hopes of neutralizing the irritation. I suppose that in addition to the excessive bathing and rinsing helped and the ear and eye irritation went down a little. By this time it was 11pm, approximately 4 hours since the initial application and Weezy was still extremely agitated and anxious due to constant twitching, trembling, scratching, and crying. All through the night, he tossed and turned never able to rest for more than 5 minute increments. I did not sleep at all that night. After hours of both of us tossing and turning, him trying to find comfort, and me in duress of trying to comfort him, Weezy finally jumped off the bed and went into the bathroom to sleep which was totally out of his nature. He stayed there for over 2 hours. My heart just ached for him.
At 6:30 am the next morning, I continued to call for him and he just looked at me with his still glazed over eyes. He would not come. When I left from the same room he came and sat between my feet, still twitching in agonizing distress. At this point I called Sargeants Customer Service back to rage further complaint. I was in tears. They again told me that his reaction was unusual and should be seen by a Vet.
I wish I had read these posts before trying to save a penny. Though my dog is priceless in value to me, I was simply trying to save a few dollars from the high cost of Frontline, Advantage, etc. I cannot express the immense guilt I felt that in trying to save money, I expended this ridiculous pain and suffering onto my sweet baby. He had done nothing but love me unconditionally and without any reservation, and here I was being cheap!
Without further hesitation I took Weezy to his Vet. Upon examination, she assured me I had done the right thing (as I couldn’tt help but feel I basically applied a poison to kill fleas and damn near killed my own lovable dog). She explained these OTC Flea Treatments are nothing but chemicals and are designed to seize the central nervous system of the flea killing it on contact, but at the same time can cause severe reaction and complications in the animal. Weezy was suffering from chemical toxicity due to the single application of Sergeants Gold Flea & Tick Treatment. Weezy had a temperature of over 103 degrees, he was dehydrated, and in distress. The good news: his heart rate was slow/normal and his gums were still pink, which according to the Vet were good signs. Weezy was given a shot of corticosteroids and subcutaneous fluids to help re-hydrate and bring the fever down. About 3 hours after treatment we finally got a pee-pee and bowel movement from him after almost 12 hours of nothing. He also ate and took some water as the Vet said the steroids would cause him to be hungry and thirsty.
It is now almost 48 hours since the initial application of this blasphemous poison, and Weezy is for the most part back to his active normal, loving self. He is still suffering from twitching and is still scratching ridiculously. I am also observing him to be chewing and biting at his paws incessantly and am now concerned this may cause Hot Spots. I will be following up with the Vet tomorrow regarding these lingering issues. My only hope is Weezy will not suffer permanent issues from this poisonous crap, as I will be devastated.
After taking Weezy to the Vet, I did follow up with Sergeants Customer Service. I submitted a claim that I wanted to be reimbursed for Vet costs. The CSR asked me a series of questions and told me a list of things I would have to submit by mail to the company for a claim to be considered for reimbursement. I will follow up actively, without hesitation, and will not cease to spread the word on the effects of this product. I am without words in how I feel violated as a consumer, as well as the risk I subjected my beloved dog too, The ability of Companies to manufacture such products that have factual and detrimental health risks to animals.
This is without a doubt, considered to be, by me; inhuman and unlawful!
Should Sergeants decide not to compensate reimbursement for my Vets bill, as there is no price on my dogs suffering, I will seek further action. I would love to see a Class Action Lawsuit brought upon this company; with the least action being removal of these harmful products from the shelves.
I cannot even began to express how utterly shocked I was to Google this products adverse reactions and witness how many stories read just like Weezys. My Sweet dog has no voice but through me, and I shall not rest without speaking mine for him.
Sent with compassion
A caring dog mom