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Pet Illnesses and Deaths Prompt Lawsuits Against Hartz and Other Flea and Tick Product Makers

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Newark, NJ: Cat and dog owners have filed a series of lawsuits against the makers of anti- flea and tick medications alleging that their pets were made ill by the products.

Five New Jersey Companies are named as separate defendants in the lawsuits, specifically Secaucus-based Hartz Mountain Corp., Summit VetPharm LLC of Rutherford, Morristown-based Bayer Healthcare LLC, Merck & Co. Inc. of Whitehouse Station and Sanofi-Aventis Inc. of Bridgewater.

The most recent lawsuit filed last week by five pet owners against Hartz Mountain and Summit VetPharm, alleges that the flea or tick treatments made by these two companies contained Pyrethrin, or a synthetic version of the chemical Pyrethroids, which are "known to poison animals."

The products named include Hartz Ultra Guard flea and tick drops and Summit VetPharm's Vectra 3d. The companies are accused of negligence, violating New Jersey's consumer fraud law and liability for creating an "unreasonably dangerous product."

In one lawsuit, a man from California saw his Scottish Terrier, Duffy, die three days after he treated him with Hartz flea and tick drops. Rick Parsons took Duffy to the veterinarian's facility because he did not appear well. Duffy died at the Vet's office that day and the Vet reportedly said the death was due to a "reaction to the insecticide."

The suits reportedly states that Parsons contacted Hartz, which reviewed the case and denied any responsibility, saying that the dog's death was due to "underlying health problems." The suit goes on to state "in 2008 alone, there were approximately 48,000 reports of adverse events from the spot-on or squeeze-on products including pyrethrins, Permethrin, or other pyrethroids."

According to a media report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates the products, has seen a "sharp increase in adverse consequences" resulting from these products.

"Adverse reactions reported range from mild effects such as skin irritation to more serious effects such as seizures, and in some cases, death of the pet," the advisory said.

The lawsuits are reportedly seeking class action status.

Legal Help

If your pet has suffered illness or death as a result of exposure to any of these products, please fill in our form on the right and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Last updated March 23 2010

Reader Comments


Posted by

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My dogs hair and skin became noticeably “greasy” like mange almost. Very unpleasant to touch. And scattered hair loss. I only used the product once. When her coat was so greatly damaged just that next morning. After researching and finding information regarding the brand. I’m glad I never used it again. Seems it could have been much worse. My dog was only 6 months old... her coat should still be beautiful.... she is a Britney Spaniel/ English Pointer.

Posted by

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I lost my Cat Jaz to Hartz flea and kick “back of the neck” liquid. He was only 2 years old. After using this flea treatment he would barely eat and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. Then a few days later his left eye swelled up so bad it was bulging out of his socket. The next day we took him to the vet to have his eye removed and sewn shut. He was ok for a day or so and he started meowing very loudly and he was bleeding all over the house. I tried to put him in is kennel to take him to the emergency vet.... he died laying on my arm, body half way in the kennel as I was bawling over him. One of the worse days of my life! It wasn’t until I did some research and read reviews; and found that it was because of this flea treatment. Never ever again! I really hope this company gets shut down!

Posted by

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Last year our cat had kittens, after a few months, I decided to wash them with Hartz flea shampoo for cats before finding them homes to go to. With in an hour after bathing them they all suddenly became sick. With in hours they all had died .. I never thought it had anything to do with the shampoo I used until later, the same year we bought a puppy for my sons birthday and the same thing happened with him.. truly sad when all your trying to do is help your pet with a product that you trust because you are led to believe it is safe!!

Posted by

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I have my 2 year old car a bath with the flea and tick shampoo and he passed away after 10 minutes of the bath..

Posted by

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We lost are dog after using Hurtz oatmeal flea and tick shampoo she started having seizures and was dead the next morning she was part of our family miss her so much my son still cries we just lost her on the 19 of oct 2019

Posted by

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Used this product line on my dog and the skin on his face literally started to come off. I took photos of all the wounds. It’s took months to heal.

Posted by

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I just put Hartz ultra Guard flea and tick prevention on my 2 year old cat and he started freakin out and running around my apartment and breathing really heavy and acting very irratic. I started panicking and trying to grab him and comfort him which he usually loves but he wasn't having it. I tried calling a vet and they wouldn't give me any information over the phone. Thank goodness after about half an hour he started to calm down and allowed me to rub a warm washcloth with dove soap on his back, he actually loved it and started purring. He seems to be ok now but I was really scared after reading all of these posts. I am so sorry to hear how many people lost their pets/family members. I can't believe they still sell this stuff. I am throwing it away tonight and I will never ever but this or and Hartz products again.

Posted by

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THESE ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN YOUR DOGS FROM THE SERESTO FLEA & TICK COLLARS MADE BY THE BAYER / MONSANTO CO.

WHEN WE PUT THE COLLARS ON OUR DOGS WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS IN STORE FOR US OR OUR LOVED PETS. WE HAD NO SIGN OF TROUBLE TILL MY YOUNG 1 DOMINIC HAD A SEIZURE AT 3AM EXACTLY 1 MONTH AFTER PUTTING THE COLLARS ON THE MY WIFE SAID TAKE THE COLLARS OFF THEM RITE NOW & I CALLED MY SON AT HOME TO TELL HIN THE SAME WITH OUR OTHER 2 DOGS. WE STAY AT A SEASONAL COMPSITE FOR 6 MONTHS. THEN MY OTHER GUY DANNY HAD A SEIZURE 15 HOURS LATER. THEY BOTH HAD DIAHREA, VOMITING, LOSS OF APPETITE, LETHARGY, MUSCLE WEAKNESS. DANNY THE OLDER 1 DIED 2 DAYS LATER DOMINIC WAS REAL OUT OF IT FOR ANOTHER 3 DAYS BOUNCED BACK FOR A WEEK & 1/2 STOPPED EATING THEN STOPPED DRINKING. THE VET GAVE HIM SPECIAL FOOD WE KINDA FORCE FED HIM WATER WITH A BABY SYRINGE BEFORE HE FINALLY DIED 21 DAYS AFTER DANNY. IT WAS A HORRIBLE THING FOR US TO SEE. 2 HEALTHY DOGS DYING WITH NO REASON WHY. THESE ARE ALL THE SYMPTOMS THESE PESTICIDES IN THE COLLARS ARE KNOWN TO CAUSE. ALL BAYER SERESTO WILL SAY IS SKIN IRRITATION & POSSIBLE HAIR LOSS. WE HAVE NEVER HAD A CALL RETURNED BY BAYER AS TO WHAT WHY THIS HAPPENED TO OUR DOGS. OUR VET TALKED AT LENGTH WITH THEM BOTH TIMES.

Posted by

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I regret to say I bought Sergeant's silver flea treatment and their flea collar ... and within three to four days my cat went from a Wonderful Life and healthy to dead, by using this product.

She was only 3 years old. She would have never had any other reason to go to the vet except for this lethal treatment that I gave to her for fleas, thinking it was a credible product. I lost my beautiful 3 year old, long haired & healthy calico cat named "Cali".

I am devastated and I am so mad that I thought this product would help my cat with fleas. This has not been a ongoing problem... yet it has just taken three to four days for this to be put her in harms way...that I had to take her to the emergency room where I had lost her within an hour!

Not only do the product not kill the fleas but instead it killed my beautiful girl by poisoning her.

I am more than livid... I am terribly sad. I cannot believe that I lost my beautiful three-year-old to this horrible product and now there's no way to bring her back! This is the worst day of my life...to lose my beautiful girl... that did not deserve to lose her life.

I need to find some justice in this and I want to fight for tearing down this company and other companies like it to put out products to kill or hurt our animals!

Please help me to fight against Sargeants & others like them to get their deadly products off the shelf!

They cannot bring my precious "Cali" back to me... but maybe it will help others to not buy their products to harm their animals! This is absolutely Unforgivable and now I have to remember my beautiful cat and all the wonderful things she brought to my life and I think that I brought to hers when I rescued her over 2 years ago... now I've lost her. There is no justification to this!

From a very angry and sad pet owner!

Posted by

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My perfectly healthy cat,3.5 year old died less then 12 hours
after I applied the Hartz Ultra Guard flea & tick treatment.
Did followed the instructions on the package. The moment I put the drops on he started to panic and runned outside.
Came back after about 3 hours and noticed he had difficulty breathing. Due to the fact it was in the mid 90’s outside
I believe was due to the heat. Never crossed my mind
it can be because of the drops. We left the house only to return a few hours later and find him dead.
How a product like this can even be sold ?!?!?! It is everywhere: pet stores, Walmart, target, Amazon,
Chewy etc. How is this even possible!!!!!!

Posted by

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We used the flea and tick shampoo a few days ago and now my cat is having seizures back to back and never gained consciousness.. she had seizures back to back

Posted by

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I just lost my 2nd cat Mini me, to cancer. 3 years ago her mother, Moxie to the same cancer. Vet said it was odd. Kept trying to figure out what could have have happened since I have another cat with no issues. Then it hit me. I only applied the Hertz to them as my other cat never needed it. It is a pesticide like Round Up is. Please don't use this on your pets!

Posted by

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On Sunday evening October 7th 2018 I put a Hartz Ultra Guard flea and tick collar on our Border Collie. The next morning he was in extreme respiratory distress, his tongue was hanging out, breathing very hard, and was-extremely agitated, I realized something was wrong and knew it must be caused by the collar. We took the collar off watched him as he was not acting his usual self. We gave him a good bath and he seem to start getting better. Today he seems ok and we are thankful that he was able to recover from what could have been a fatal toxic over dose.

Posted by

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The drops Almost killed 3 of my cats. One went into seizures, one foamed out the mouth, and my 3rd cat lost use in her legs and kept falling.
My mom lost her cat from a collar her brother had put on her cat when he was fostering it while mom faught cancer. Then my moms ex boyfriend almost lost his huge German Shephard pup due to a flea and tick collar.. Thank God, I told them to get it off in time and he lived. He was dragging his body just to move.
Why is this stuff still on the shelves? I just don't understand. We are losing our loved pets! This is so sad.

Posted by

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I put vectra 3d on my white, 18 lb, 1 year old french bulldog on August 5, 2018. Took her to the vet on August 8th for severe burns at the application site. The vet shaved and cleaned the area and she was put on antibiotics. A couple of weeks later she woke up with stiff neck, squinting eyes and ears held back at 8a, I took her to the vet at noon (she stayed for the day), she was seizing by 4p and passed away at 830p. I have always used frontline on all of my other dogs and have never had an issue. I will regret this purchase for the rest of my life.

Posted by

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Hartz needs to be out of business. They have put out harmful products for many years and will continue to do so. I feel bad that I hurt my cat with the Flea drops (Ultragaurd Plus). I have reached out to Target's QA lead and I am working hard to try and get this off all the shelves.

My heart goes out to all those pets that died because of this poison. I got very lucky that I did not kill my cat. I just lost my other cat two months prior. This would have crushed me.

Please take this evil company to court and make them pay so much money that their shareholders (if there are any) will feel the bite.

So I spent $8 to hurt my cat (skin feel off at the spot I applied the medicine) and pay $125 at the vet.

Posted by

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I have noticed that I have trouble breathing each time after bathing my dog with Hartz Ultra Guard Rid Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo. I'll be throwing it away tonight. I don't want my dog feeling the way am right now.

Posted by

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My cat died today because of this Hartz collar. He kept having seizures, and he could not walk, he was drooling and foaming at the mouth. He was fine before I put the collar on. I'm just so sad and depressed. I have had my cat for over three years.

Posted by

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Our puppy died after being poisoned and the only explanation we have is vectors 3D flea and tick. She was fine and with us for 5 days. Within hours of being treated she was vomiting. She became so weak we took her to the vet. Her liver was failing. After 4 days of ER vet at about $1800 a day and my entire family being heartbroken she passed. Now what do we do for our pets? I don’t know what’s safe to use and why this product could be on the market?

Posted by

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Nature's Guardian NATURAL Flea & Tick Squeeze-On for Cats & Kittens is what I used on my son's cat Oreo and he passed away 3 days later very said we all miss him very much I don't understand how this can keep happening and it's still being sold every day said world now days

Posted by

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Please stop murdering animals. It Killed my dog. i walked her. Then gave her bath with hartz ultraguard and within 3 hours she didn't know who i was or who she was. She went into seziures any way it was tbe worst an inhumane thing i ever seen. They destroyed her life she was my baby."

Posted by

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My cat, who was my baby and the last thing my grandfather gave me before he had passed, became very sick after being given Hartz flea and tick treatment. He was completely healthy before hand and within two days, even with everything the very tried, he was gone. I will forever miss my wonderful kitty.

Posted by

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put it on my white cat next day the cat loss her hair on the back of her neck where I put it today she has a bald spot & she acts funny

Posted by

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OM

Posted by

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OMG this is brutal and I can not except the blame for killing my cat , his name was Blazinglance and he was an Internet sensation loved by everyone and Bayer and These other companies and we tried the most reputable trusted companies used the products because on google it’s the first thing that pops up as the most reputable respected companies and there was nothing dangerous listed on in any of the fancy packaging or advertising and I was lead to believe that this was the best treatment using this topical solution and as soon as I placed it on my Ragdoll Cat 2 years old and his back legs gave out as they got cold and he started to shake and convulse from the poison ?? this was most horrific and never expected to see such a horror show, after we rushed him to the ER got him stabilized at the vets they tried to keep him alive as long as possible is an event that is burned into my life and can’t erase these images.
Please help me ASAP this is current 2018 and the companies need to accept responsibility for their actions ASAP .
Contact me @ pavlevlast@gmail.com and I will give you details of this incident. And there is more as my other cats all got sick from the collars for flea & tick they look like they have cancer with bald spots and lack of eating they look different and you can tell that they are sick because of this medicine. Contact me for information about this please.

Posted by

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I used Hartz Ultra Guard Pro easy applicator bought at the local Walmart on my cats today and within minutes of having this on them they were running all over the house in misery. My black cat who is 7 years old was breathing very heavy and drooling she would hiss when I got near her. My white cat who is 2 years old was breathing very heavy and was running too and when I picked her up she had red bloody streaks on her neck where the medicine was applied. I immediately ran her to the sink and started washing it off. Then in panic we scooped both cats up in pet carriers and jumped in the car in a race to the vet with both cats across the street to the Veterinarian hospital upon arrival both cats were taken to the back and given baths. Poison control was called by the vet who stated that they needed 3 baths and had to be watched closely for gestational, vomiting, diarrhea or even seizures could happen within the next 24 hours. I have to pick them up at 7:30 because they don’t keep them over night and if such things happen take them to an Emergency vet. Please tell me who to contact this needs to be removed off the shelves. I am my cats voice and they were in pain and this needs to be taken off the shelf. Walmart shame on you for selling such stuff.

Posted by

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I used Hartz Ultra Guard Plus on my cats tonight and was very disturbed by how they were acting. They were running all over the house in misery. My male cat was breathing very heavy and drooling. I decided to look up adverse affects and was shocked to read how many pets have died from this stuff. I started applying soap and water over and over, but the fur was still oily. I then went to the store and got Dawn liquid soap which was the only one that seemed to get it off. My cats seem calmer now. I beg, please, for the love of animals, get this stuff off the market. My cats are my world, I would be devistated if anything happened to them. The company needs to pay big time for cruelty to animals.

Posted by

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My cat is hiding after using ultra guard pro. She acts like she don't know where she is. Not coming to me when I call her. She is not acting right at all.

Posted by

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Our cat, Mowgli, died today from Pyrethrin poisoning from this:
Adams Flea & Tick Cleansing Shampoo. Here's what happened and I hope it won't happen to your cat. She bought this shampoo off the shelf. It clearly states "For cats" and has a picture of a cat on it. However, it contains Pyrethrin which is poisonous to cats. Their liver cant metabolize it fast enough. She washed him last night and he died this morning after vomiting all night and having all the symptoms of Pyrethrin poisoning. He was happily chilling on the couch last night, and this morning he couldn't even sit straight. We didn't google all the ingredients and didn't realize what was going on until it was too late. But, who googles everything they buy in a store? I don't understand how can a company sell this product targeted for cats when it's clearly deadly & poisonous to them? After finding this product on amazon, there are 2 reviews that say it killed their cat as well. One possible explanation is that he had a scab and this poison possibly got into his bloodstream. Is there a legal avenue we can take? RIP Mowgli

Posted by

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I applied the Hart product on one of my two cats yesterday; thank God the other one was hiding. By the evening my cat went into convolution and had a fever of almost 105 when we rushed her to the ER vet. This morning they called and advised me to hurry in. She was now septic and her blood pressure was continuing to drop. I put my little angle in my arms as the vet helped me pass her to the doggy bridge.

Posted by

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My friend lost her baby girl dog Sadie today due to this crap and it needs to be removed off shelves our fur babies are just like family everyone that has been effected by losing a fur baby should sue the hell out of them and shut them down

Posted by

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I just used the Hartz flea and tick shampoo for our cat.My cat immediately started loosing great chunks of hair, started howlng, refused to eat or drink, couple days later suddenly died. I feel so guilty I used a product I had trusted was safe.

Posted by

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We are a military family and shop at the Commissary for all our needs. Hartz is the only option at our current station and we applied the Hartz Ultraguard Rid Flea and Tick to our two dauschunds. Within an hour the one's hair was falling out and her skin was burning! I immediately gave them both baths and did not apply any new solution. A day later they got fleas! I would much rather deal with fleas than endangering our pets with toxic products.

Posted by

on
Right now I have a one cat die from cancer and
Another that has cancer from what I believe was
From Hartz flea medicine, it's caused a lot of problems, I had no idea at the time that I was
Just applying pesticide for fleas on my cats,
I trusted Hartz as a reputable company.

Posted by

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I used the flea treatment on my 2 healthy cats, and one of them started hiding and barely eating. Took her to vet, they found heart murmur and in checking further, found her heart was enlarged. Today they are checking for possible kidney failure. My vet says they think there is a lawsuit against Hartz for this. Trying to find out now.

Posted by

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Put Hartz flea and tick treatment on my 1 year old cats (2) and almost immediately they started having trouble breathing and were foaming at the mouth. I washed the product off as best as I could. It has been a couple hours and one of them is hiding and the other one is vomiting every time he tries to eat. I am devasted to read all these horrible reviews of death and devastation. How is this product still on the shelves? I'm pissed! If my cats die, I'm gonna lose it!

Posted by

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At vet right now with my cat who got a chemical burn from collar. Is there still a lawsuit. This should be taken off the market completely. Vet bill is almost $300 from this chemical burn by the harts flea collar. Need help definitely want to make them at least cover my vet bills.

Posted by

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We put Hartz Mountain Ultra Guard on our 2 dogs and almost lost our 6 year old Dutch Shepard due to irregular heart beat and serious breathing problems. We had to take him to the emergency Animal hospital twice and to our vet. After spending hundreds of dollars and almost losing him, we finally figured out that it had to be that Flea and Tick treatment Ultra Guard.

Posted by

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I just used the Hartz flea and tic shampoo and my dog managed to lick a little before I stopped him. He has been vomiting, has diarrhea, is very lethargic and barely wants to eat or drink. This started right after the bath. This product shouldn't even be on the market. Is there an active law suit? If not, there should be another one!!!

Posted by

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I bought the tick and flea shampoo and bathed my little Japanese chin palm cross dog and he has been vomiting ever since for the past four days. I rinsed him off again good the next day and he still the same. Today I bathed him in dawn dish soap in hopes of removing all traces of
The product from his skin . He is barely eating and drinking and lack of energy has been here for four days. If he is still not perking up by tomorrow I'm taking him to the vets! K feel so bad and thought the product was fine!
Now that I read all of your guys stories on here I feel so bad I really hope he makes it

Posted by

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I LOST ALL 5 of my cat in 3 days,get this off the market,,,,

Posted by

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I used Hartz Flea and tick spray on my Goberian and she is acting very strange. She won't go outside, panting really thirsty and just staring .

Posted by

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We applied vectra for the first time per the instructions on our happy, energetic, at your heels every step you take, 15 month old Jack Chi on Saturday 9/10/16. Within hours he became lethargic. We immediately washed him with dawn after reading comments from similar stories online. He started having spasms, not breathing right, won't eat or drink, drooling like he is rabid, vomiting and having uncontrolled bowls. He has been to the vet to get fluids and an injection for nausea/vomiting. We are pushing Pedialyte into him with a syringe and praying the toxins will flush without permanent damage. The vet said some dogs can't tolerate the permethrins that's in Vectra. At this point we aren't sure if he is going to pull through. We have contemplated multiple times should we put him down because we can't afford to hospitalize him, but we are desperately holding out hope that the vets advice will pull him through. We are now on the evening of 9/14 with no real changes. All fluid as well as the teaspoon of chicken and rice baby food we syringe fed him today to attempt to provide some nutrition has pretty much been vomited back up. We are contacting the vet tomorrow to see if we can afford to have blood work done to check liver and kidney function. We will then make a decision on our next steps. We are completely heartbroken to see him go through this and pray this product comes off the shelf!

Posted by

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Last weekend we de-fleaed our whole house as we usually do every year at this time. Three days later(wednesday) my 6 year old healthy cat passed away, the very next day (thursday) my 9 year old boxer passed away! Now today (friday) our 3 year old lab is sick!! The cat is strictly a house cat, our boxer only went outside to either lay on our porch or to go to the bathroom! Our lab on the other hand stays outside from early afternoon to evening. We used the products EXACTLY how they said to used them, except our animals were away from these products for 3 hours instead of the 2 hours that bottle states! I know for a fact these products killed my animals..... nothing else in our house has changed, nothing new brought in either! We have had all three of our furbabies since they were babies! Please share this to save other animals!!

Posted by

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My dog is in critical condition at our local vet because of the Hartz drops I applied on him 3 days ago. He first formed a rash and was itching like crazy, then he vomited and then came the explosive diarrhea. He hasn't eaten or barley drank anything in three days. He starting pooping blood too. He has hypersalivation and it seems like it is hard for him to breathe. My pup is normally a ball of energy but now he can barley walk. I still have my receipt and the box of drops. If this is still a lawsuit I want in. I'm so heart broken but I am also furious. Hartz will not get away with this.

Posted by

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On May 25th I used Hartz Ultraguard for cats on my 5 year old tabby and within minutes he started howling/hissing, running around into objects, his eyes dilated, and seizures. Had to take him to the vet where they said it was toxins from the product and loaded him with meds to help. He had a fever and slept allot after they got him stable. It has been two weeks and was wondering is there any current lawsuits against them right now? How can they sell a product and not list this? You can not take a medication without it stating side effects especially if it can lead to death.

Posted by

on
I put those collars on all my pets in my home as I have for years, now my male Kitty, he hasn't been himself for about 4 days so I picked him up and noticed his neck was covered in blood.
He now has no hair around his whole neck he's black so it really shows, he had a crazy reaction to it as well. I am now treating him from home, hoping he will be okay, but cmon shouldn't they warn us.
I hope he makes it. It is just a waiting game now.

Posted by

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Is this still a valid lawsuit? My cat has burns and baldness where I used Hartz flea and tick treatment...I don't know where to turn?? Help...

Posted by

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My schnauzer is at vet hospital right now due to kidney problems over toxination due to flea medicine from hartz. Waiting to see if he will pull through

Posted by

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We put hartz flea drops on our cat fri and today she died was healthy before the drops

Posted by

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My cat passed away after getting a flea bath using their product.

Posted by

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Our dog died after the use of Hartz Ultra Guard Rid Flea and Tick. We took him to our vet, who was able to stabilize him for the moment, but he still died that night.

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