If you plan on treating your dog or cat for fleas, talk to your vet and read these stories before applying Hartz. There are multiple instances where pets have responded adversely to the products, in some cases dying. Hartz agreed to remove a flea product for cats and kittens in 2006 based on similar adverse reactions, but according to the stories from angry pet owners (warning, they will make you want to hug your pet), there are still plenty of problems with current Hartz products.
Darryl wrote to us about what happened to his girlfriend’s dog:
Today I received a frantic call from my girlfriend about her dog Brutis. Brutis is a 130 pound Black Lab, more like a barrel shaped teddy bear. Brutis is also a very, very big boy. He lives in the country and in the Michigan summer, fleas tend to come around. My girlfriend noticed a flea on his tail and decided to give him a bath and apply some Hartz Flea & Tick remover according to the generic instructions.
Please do not get the impression she applied it improperly. It was sprayed no where near his face, nose, eyes, etc. He was sprayed outside to provide ventilation. 45 minutes later Brutis starts throw up violently, becoming weak with shaking and tremors. He would fade in and out of this condition. I went to the internet to find information, finding the advice to wash the dog with luke-warm water and dish soap. She thoroughly washed Brutis repeatedly to remove any of the flea & tick remover. He was still trying to vomit, merely dry heaving bile from his stomach. Sorry this is graphic.
We rushed the dog to Michigan State’s Emergency clinic which is roughly 15 miles away from their house. The dog continued to vomit in her back seat on the way to the clinic. He was very lethargic and unresponsive, not displaying his usual characteristics. It was determined that the Hartz spray was responsible for this violent reaction.
We don’t know how Brutis turned out, but we’ve asked for an update and will post it if Darryl replies.
If you’ve got a flea problem, HartzVictims.org suggests you ask your veterinarian for a suggestion, and avoid any OTC product from a retail store.
Update: Darryl sent us a status report on Brutis, along with a pic:
When we brought him in Friday night, he was extremely dehydrated and his heart rate was 180 bpm, when it should normally be between 60-100bpm. We were told that if we had not brought him in he would have died from either dehydration or heart failure.
After some great care provided by the MSU Emergency Clinic, Brutis is at home resting sound waiting for his next meal, and the one after that, and the one after that..
I still have to go through the trouble of getting them to cover the bill, but that is non-comparative to the value of having them exposed for the people that never have the satisfaction of bringing their pet home alive.