Sergeants Silver made my cat very ill

Fortunately, I noticed the signs of my cat Cricket being ill very quickly, so I got her into the vet pretty early, but even so a day and a half later she’s still not herself. My manfriend put Sergeant’s Silver on her even though I told him to never use anything but Frontline, and I had no idea that he had done it. I noticed the next day she had foam around her mouth, she was wheezing, lethargic, drinking tons of water and basically hanging out in front of her water bowl unable to move. She stopped eating and her eyes started tearing. I asked the man friend what he had given her, and he told me and I immediately called the medical line listed on the package. They told me the only reason she would have those symptoms is because she “must have licked it, and cats cant spit so they foam and drink lot of water.” Then I got angry and said, “so we’re just going to ignore the wheezing, not eating, and lethargy are we?!” Then he said she must have ingested it somehow and I needed to take her to the vet.

The Vet said that Cricket definitely did not ingest the Sergeant’s Silver, but this was Toxicity/Toxic Shock caused by contact with her skin alone. Fortunately my rapid response to her symptoms meant she only had mild toxicity. They had to keep her overnight, bathe her a few times with special shampoo, and give her atropine to stop the foaming. The bill was only $93 so I was very lucky, but the vet and I agree, this product should not be sold to an uninformed public! They sell this crap at WalMarts all over the country! It kills people’s pets all the time or costs them gobs of money. You all should call the company responsible and DEMAND REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOU VET BILL! This is not one of the possible hazards listed on the box, so they are duty bound to do that. If they resist, threaten a class-action lawsuit. If you want to start one, email me. I’d be more than happy to help.

FirstShield Flea Medication manufactured by Summit VetPharm

This in via an email from Jonathan:

Do not use this product. I have listed all the information I can find below. Our vet gave our kitten one treatment and she it is now dead. The Kitten was 12 weeks old and weighed approximately 2.5 lbs. The kitten was administered the treatment during a routine checkup. She was given a clean bill of health by the vet but he also recommended we start her on a flea treatment. That is point where the worst 24 hours of my life began. Within 12 hours the kitten became lethargic and non responsive. It exhibited heavy breathing and would not eat nor drink any food or liquids. We rushed her to the vet (the one that administered the treatment) and he refused to believe the medication was the cause. The vet had no willingness to help the kitten unless we paid him $500 so he could monitor her overnight. Unfortunately that money we did not have at the time. Within 24 hours the kitten was dead. During her last few minutes alive, she was writhing with pain, rolling on her back, and crying a loud sound. Her stomach (near her liver) became swollen and hard, her tongue dry and white, and her pupils fully dilated as well. I’m no rocket scientist, but if a perfectly health cat dies within 24 hours of being administered flea medication for the first time, there is no doubt what the cause is.

FirstShield Flea Medication manufactured by Summit VetPharm. VetPharm list the product in their Vectra line . This product is primarily sold and distributed at Petsmart via the Banfield pet Hospitals found onsite. Drug Facts: .

The main ingredients are as follows:

Dinotefuran 22% – &

Pyriproxyfen 3% –

Permethrin is a neurotoxin insecticide.Permethrins are synthetic pyrethroids that are more stable and last longer. It works by disrupting the nervous system of insects, killing by contact or ingestion. The EPA classifies it as a carcinogen ,it causes lung cancer and liver tumors in mice. Permethrin is indicated as a possible carcinogen by the EPA, causing liver enlargement and cancers in lab. mammals. It is embryotoxic in rabbits, and causes liver damage in mice.

“Pyrethroid toxicity targets nerve and muscle cells in pets, according to a study published in The Veterinary Journal in June 2008. The study found that dermal exposure by application to the skin or coat is the most common route of toxic exposure, potentially causing hyperexcitability, tremors, profuse salivation, and seizures. The seizures can result in brain damage or, less frequently, death.
The EPA approved the company’s pyrethroid spot on treatments just as it has approved all spot on treatments, but the agency has a history of approving pet products in the past only to pull them from the market later

Carcinogen: liver and lung tumors
Organ damage: kidney enlargement, changes in the lung
Neurotoxin: tremors, incoordination, elevated body temp. increased agressive behavior, learning disruption
Reproductive: fertility affected
Autoimmune: bone marow changes in lab. animals

But they are also linked to thousands of reported pet poisonings, and they have stirred the ire of pet owners, the concern of veterinarians, and the attention of regulatory agencies.
At least 1,600 pet deaths related to spot on treatments with pyrethroids were reported to the EPA over the last five years, according to an analysis of EPA pesticide incident exposure data by the Center for Public Integrity. That is about double the number of reported fatalities tied to similar treatments without pyrethroids, such as Frontline and Advantage — although these products also have critics.
Pyrethroid spot ons also account for more than half of “major” pesticide pet reactions reported to EPA over the last five years — that is, those incidents involving serious medical reactions such as brain damage, heart attacks, and violent seizures. In contrast, non-pyrethroid spot on treatments accounted for only about 6 percent of all major incidents.

Pyriproxyfen An active: sterilizer
Reproductive:reduced weight gain, toxicity to pups

Manufacture and Distributor Info:

This product needs to be pulled of the market. If you are a pet owner or know someone who is, please pass along the word.

Hartz ultraguard

I had bought this over the counter product at the Walmart. I used it on my pug and she developed a sore/burn where it was applied. I washed the liquid off with dish soap. My other dog was uneffected by the Hartz, however I have washed it off and we have gone with frontline plus. I am still waiting on my pugs wound to heal before I try frontline. I have been giving her dishsoap/vinegar baths in the interm. However, I am still worried how frontline will effect her.
I wish that this was more common knowledge abd pet owners do not have to find out the hard way. Also, I am lucky that Smushy did not suffer as much as some unlucky dogs.

Hertz Ultra Guard made my dog sick

We adopted our 4 yr old heeler in January and got him in to the vet right away for his first check up.  He got a clean bill of health and the vets even remarked that he was incredibly healthy for a dog who had been abused by previous owners.  A few weeks ago, I saw him scratching a lot and thought maybe I should get him a flea collar, just in case.  When I was a kid, we always bought the Hertz collars, so I didn’t think twice about buying one for Herbie.  When I read the instructions (Wash hands thoroughly after touching…do not touch your eyes after handling…call poison control…) I was a little concerned about putting what amounts to a pesticide on my dog, and decided to watch him closely for the next few days.  Within a few hours, he seemed lethargic, but he’s not high-energy so I didn’t think it totally out of character.  The following morning, he began vomiting yellow foam.  That was enough to convince me to remove the collar.  Within hours, Herbie was better and by the following day he was completely recovered.  I decided to do some research to see if others had similar problems, and stumbled upon this website.  Wish I had seen it sooner!

Dogs affected by Hartz meds and shampoo

This came in via email:

I have a 5 year old yellow lab who started having seizures 4 years ago. I took him to the vet, had every test done and left with them telling me some dogs, especially labs just have seizures. He was occasionally having them, once every month or less. They aren’t full seizures because he knows when Im there and where I am and tried to come to me, but can’t control his body. His body stiffens, he foams, shakes and sometimes pees.Its heartbreaking to watch, but after 4 years I had gotten used to the fact that I just had a dog with epilepsy.

Now last night my 4 year old white german shepherd awoke me at 4 am having a seizure. I thought what are the odds I have two dogs that have seizures so I started to look at what I have been doing. I have moved all over many states so I ruled out chemicals or something they were getting into from home and such. There were three consistent things: Purina Dog Chow, Milkbone treats, and Hartz flea meds and shampoo. I wash them once every two months or more. The flea meds, when in Florida because they are a huge problem year round, I gave them some every 3-5 weeks. Now in Michigan I didn’t all winter and did about 6 weeks ago. Unlike other peoples stories, mine dont have seizures right after usage. This time it was 6 weeks after using.

Have you heard anything about delayed sickness or seizures? And after reading all the negative stories, I obviously scrubbed them to the best of my ability and am immediately stopping the use of ANY Hartz products. My next question is what do I do now? Ive been poisoning my dogs for years. Have you heard of long time health problems or do you think I’ll be ok by stopping the usage?

Other than the seizures both my dogs eat and drink healthy, get more than enough exercise and are healthy weight. The only negative thing is the occasional seizures that now are apparently affecting bot my dogs. I know you aren’t a vet, but I need guidance. I feel terrible, my dogs are my kids.

An apology

I sincerely apologize, as well as thank all of those who have contacted me to let me know that you were seeing Hartz ads on Please know that these ads were not hand selected by me, rather they were served by Google based on keyword relevance. This is a site where words like “Hartz”, “fleas”, “ticks”, “cat”, “dog”, etc. appear a lot. Google serves ads based on the density of those key words. You can read more about how Google’s ad serving works here.

Google allows me to filter competitive ads. For years I made sure no ads would direct a reader to Hartz also has sites such as and I have since blocked those top-level domains as well. Below are the competitive ad filters that are currently applied:

If you know of any other online retailer that carries Hartz products, please let me know so I can effectively boycott them.

Again, my apologies, and thank you for understanding.

My best,


8 week old stripes

we got a 8 week old kitten from a family that never took care of him. he was full of fleas we went to petsmart witch is a store near where I live anyways we gave my kitten a Hartz ultra guard one Spot treatment for cats and kittens, we read the instructions really carefully and followed them we thought it was OK as the instructions said that it was recommendable for cats 8 weeks and older, anyways shortly after we started applied the product he started scratching like crazy. I thought it was because of the drops itself and wet fur that was making him scratch but i was a little worried about it. shortly there after he became really drowsy and started to sleep all day and when he did get up to walk it would be like he was drunk. He would sway and fall over, he couldn’t walk in a straight line and thats when i noticed that something was really wrong. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything and we tried everything. I tried washing his neck and where the product was applied. That did nothing and he seemed to be getting worse. We then took him to the 24 hour pet hospital. They said that it was poison. They did everything they could for him and said that we can take him home and they gave us this charcodote to give to him in the morning. The following morning we gave it to him. Even 12 hours later it doesn’t seem like he is getting any better but in fact worse. I can’t believe that i took him in to help him and take his fleas away and make him better but instead I’m killing him myself. He is to young to leave this place he hasn’t even had the chance to live his life. I feel like it is all my fault I brought him in to protect him but in the process I’m killing him with my love. This isn’t fair to him. I don’t want to let him go but I hate watching him suffer how he is and it is all because of me. He is just so precious. When we first got him each time we would leave and come home he would always be at the door waiting for us and he would always follow us around where ever we went it was so cute. Now he doesn’t he sleeps all the time, isn’t playful, just wants to be left alone. I tried calling the Hartz company but they are closed but I will try again when Monday comes. I sent them an email but somehow i doubt they are going to get back to me. I just can’t take this anymore watching him suffer. I don’t want to lose my baby!!!! They should take their killer products off the shelves and be closed down!!! NEVER USE THEIR PRODUCTS!!! THEY ARE DEADLY!!!!

Sergeant’s Gold Squeeze on killed my Cat!!!

This story came in via email from Marina:

“I didn’t know where to write, but I would like to share a story of my own. I have two cats at home and needed a flea protection for them. So I went to the store and bought over the counter flea medication “Sergeant’s Gold” for my cats. I applied it on both cats following the instructions. The same day they were acting strange: shaking heads, salivating and foaming out of the mouth and became very lethargic. I kept a close eye on them. The next morning my one cat could not even get up on his paws, so I went online to see information on adverse reactions. Sergeant’s web site recommended washing pet with dish detergent to wash off the medication which I did right away. My one cat got significantly better after a bath. The other one got very sick and started seizuring and throwing up everywhere, so I took one cat to emergency clinic, where he received fluids and was monitored for the next couple hours. Doctor said to give him rest and keep an eye on him for the next 24 hours, which I did. After that we had a follow up visit to the vet on Thursday and they did the same thing. My cat never got better. That bath didn’t help him at all. Other than the bath the company couldn’t offer better help. On Sunday morning we ended up taking him to the emergency clinic again. They put him on IV fluids and did a blood work that showed up that his kidneys were shutting down. We kept him in the hospital throughout the day where he passed away in my arms on Sunday night from renal failure. He was just over one year old, perfectly healthy cat. I am writing this to warn all other pet owners that “Flea medication can harm or kill your pet” (the box does not state that). I did some research about this product online and found out that this was not an isolated incident. Consumers Report website stated hundreds of cases like that. I am very surprised that this product is still on the shelves of our markets and it is EPA approved!!! If this is not an animal cruelty, then what is it? The most upsetting part of it is we as consumers by buying this product keeping it on the shelves and poisoning our pets at the same time.

I hope you would review this letter and post some sort of warning on your web site or make a news line, something. It is very hard to tragically lose your loved ones either it is a family member or a pet. If necessary I will testify against this product and company if needed. We need to take this stuff off the shelves before any other innocent animal dies. “

Hartz Vectra 3D

An alert reader sent me the following in regards to Hartz’s Vectra 3D:

“I don’t want my name or info published but I am very much in favor of what you are doing here and I thought you should know that Hartz has launched a new permethrin based product that is extremely toxic to cats. It is called Vectra 3D and it is sold through DVM’s. The umbrella company that they are marketing it under is called Summit Vet Pharm, but if you “google patent search” the main ingredients, you will see that it is a Hartz product. As a pet parent, I was very upset that they would try to do an underhanded approach to get their bad reputation skirted.

Here is a link to their website:

Here is a link to the patent:

Ramona got sick from Hartz

I put a Hartz flea/tick collar on Ramona this spring. She had a spot appear on her face that looked like she’d been in a fight. I just waited for it to heal up. Next thing I know she’s losing hair on the bottom side of her neck. Then the open, oozing sores and constant scratching. I got her an appointment when she stopped eating. Before I could get her to the vet she found a hiding place in the alfalfa bales in the barn. We moved the bales. Then she dug under the floor of the barn. I had to cancel the appointment because I couldn’t get to her. I was afraid I’d have to tear the floor out. Finally, my boy got her to come out and we closed her in my workshop and rescheduled an appointment. By now she was a mess and smelled of rotting flesh. Hair just fell off of her and her sores left wet spots everywhere in my shop. I thought she was dying. When we got her into the vet he asked about the collar. He told me that first of all those collars don’t work and secondly some animals have allergic reactions. I was immediately angry. You mean I did this to her? I bought a product to keep her healthy and darn-near killed her! He cut the collar off and gave me some anti-biotic cream. I applied it and within a day she was showing improvement. Now, a couple weeks later she’s finally starting to grow back some hair. She’s acting normal and playing again, eating fine and back to barking at coyotes. Praise God! Don’t use Hartz!