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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:51 am 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 34
I'm still reeling as I type this, but felt so strongly about getting the word out that I couldn't wait to type this. It's going to be a little long, but please read this, as you can avoid the day I've just had.

I have two bengals, my male Sampson (6) and my new female Mia (13 mos.). Today, my wife picked up some fresh food, litter, and flea treatment. Both of our cats spend about 1 hour out in our yard every couple of days, under supervision, and we have fleas commonly in the South (Memphis, TN).

Sampson got the advantage, but my wife saw another box for cats under 10 lbs. (Mia is 7 3/4, Sam is a BIG boy). She bought the Hartz Advanced Care flea & tick drops plus+. The normal dose was applied in the directed manner at 11:00am today.

I arrived home from work at 5:10pm (my wife worked 12-7, and wasn't home). Both of my cats greet me at the door every time, by hearing the garage door open. Sam was there, but Mia was under a love seat in the Kitchen sitting room, and didn't look "herself".

As I got closer, I noticed she was shaking all over, and kicking her legs like a cat that had stepped on adhesive tape. Her breathing was labored, fast, and shallow.

My wife had told me on the phone about the flea treatment, and this became my almost immediate suspect.

Not one minute since I had walked in, Mia threw up twice. I instantly picked up the phone and dialed the vet.

I told them about the medicine, and they asked me, "Was it the Hartz?"

I said yes, and was told to immediately bring her in (3 minutes away) and they would be waiting. Mia began to shake worse at this time, possibly sensing my own fear along with hers.

Arrived at the vet in minutes (thank goodness for my 400hp Mustang!), and was rushed into a waiting exam area. The head vet and three assistants immediately gave her an IV Valium injection for the tremors, and then bathed her thoroughly with dish soap and water.

Anther injection of something (I'll tell later, but can't recall now) was administered to counteract the Hartz. I was told this was not an antedote, but helped in this type of case.

Within 30 minutes, they had an Emergency specialist hospital on standby for Mia's arrival. They wrapped in a heavy towel and placed her in her carrier. She was literally at full seizure at this point, and I really wondered if she was coming home again. The doctors showed genuine concern on their faces and in their voices, and I was scared.

I took her to the emergency vet at 6:00. They were waiting and immediately put Mia on a catheter IV of the same above-mentioned medicine. Glucose and Dextrose were added to the drip for her strength, so much of which was expended in the violent tremors.

It is 9:45 as I type this, and Mia's condition has greatly improved. She now has a slight head tremor, but the body shakes have subsided. It looks like she is going to live, and hopefully recover in fair time. I'm told this could exit her system in only a few days (at the longest), 12-24 hours estimated. We're hopeful, and while still stressed to the max, we are relieved we will keep our girl.

I'm not going to bash a product in this post, but will tell you that both vets informed me of how common this reaction is to the Hartz. Please make your own purchase decisions, however, my own has been made for life. What I saw today I sincerely pray none of you fine Bengal owners experience.

Thanks for letting me vent on this nice message board, and please keep your babies safe!

Alan


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:52 am 
Oh my god, I could not believe this when I read you post.

On many other forums they mention the Hartz flea treatment and on one in particular they support everyone that has ever been affected by it's montrosity - <a href='http://www.catforum.com' target='_blank'>Cat Forum</a>. As you mention many cats have had bad reactions to this flea treatment.

I thought it was well known that this flea treatment was fatal. I really do not know how they get away with selling such a product.

I hope Mia is okay and recovering well. Our thoughts here at the bengal cat forums are with you and please please keep us updated on how she is doing.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:57 am 
That is soo bad, I'm hoping so much that she will be ok, please come back soon and tell us how she is getting on.

I would be so angry if that had happened to our two, we put advantage on our two and touch wood, they have been ok so far, but this certainly makes me nervous...

There is a post here about the stuff, I can't see how they still get away with selling it..... I hope you're going to complain to them in the strongest possible manner, though I'm guessing they already know and care not :-

<a href='http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=5868' target='_blank'>http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=5868</a>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:00 pm 
Please tell you story on here <a href='http://www.hartzvictims.org/' target='_blank'>Hartz Victims</a> and help others. This product needs to be stopped.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:15 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 34
Thanks to both of you for your kind words of concern and well wishes for Mia.

It is now 8:00am the following day, and I've just returned from the vet.

My wife and I went to the emergency hospital (fortunately it's only 2 blocks from my regular vet!), and picked her up. Mia was greatly improved, but still has a slight tremor. This morning, her shaking was reminiscent of a cold cat, like shivering from a bath. Compared to yesterday, I am very happy to see this improvement in only about 12 hours.

We took her back to my regular vet, where she will spend the remainder of the day under observation and then come home tonight. Once home, we will isolate her from Sam and let her spend the rest of the weekend in our bed, with anything her heart desires.

My story has already been posted on HartzVictims.org, but thank you for the link.

My first agenda on Monday morning will be contacting the Hartz Mountain Corporation. This incident will NOT be brushed off as a fortunate recovery from an unfortunate accident. They are selling pesticide to put on animals. It inexcusable, and they will hear my story.

I'm not the type to sue someone at the drop of a dime, a practice so common these days. But I, a big and strong man, was almost in tears as I read many of the stories on that site. If you read them, you would have seen that many cats do not survive an episode from this.

The management of the pet store where this product was purchased from (Petco) will also receive a call. I don't hold them responsible in the least, but will at least give them food for thought in regards to their stocking this product on their shelves.

Again, I am holding back my genuine feelings regarding Hartz and their marketing of this product. My main reason for posting was to inform you people of this potential problem.

Both the emergency vet and my regular vet say this is overwhelmingly common, and only happens when this specific product is used. In my original post, I stated that Sam had the Advantage flea treatment, and he is sitting at my side as I type this. I was told by my vet that you could (in theory) force a cat to drink Advantage and there would be no serious effects.

Thanks again for this forum, as it was quite helpful to write my feelings down yesterday. My little girl will be home today, and for that I am truly grateful.

Alan


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:28 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 34
Mia is home now, after being released after a final exam from my vet. She is dramatically improved, a little tired and cranky, and generally shaken up.

When she is still, there are still some slight tremors, but the vet feels these will subside over the next 24 hours. The chance of permanent neurological damage does exist, but they feel Mia will make a full recovery since I was lucky enough to find her quickly and seek immediate professional medical attention.

Now that Mia's safety is pretty well assured, my emotions are definitely shifting towards anger. For my own reasons, I'll leave it at that for now.

Thanks for your concern, and for linking this thread to another site. Feel free to share my story with other cat forums you may frequent. Spreading the word appears to be the only way to help stop this, as it seems regardless of the loss of life this product will remain on the shelves. Our best action would be to simply not purchase it.

I will keep you all posted on how Mia does under our supervision. She will want for nothing (as usual, lol), and will be kept under close watch. Rest is the best treatment for her now, and hopefully we'll never repeat something like this again.

Alan


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:08 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:38 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Kailua, Hawaii
Thank goodness she's ok now. I will make sure I inform all of our kitten adopters never to use Hartz brand flea products. Thanks for sharing that.

_________________
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blue'>Nial</span></span><br><a href='http://www.kaibengals.com' target='_blank'>Kaibengals Cattery</a>


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 6:20 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 34
Improvements are coming steadily now. Almost no visible signs of any tremors now (24 hours since application and 18 hours since medical attention).

She is active and vocal, showing signs she is much herself again. Lot of love and affection, the norm, will continue with careful observation.

I'm still a little shaken, but am really enjoying that some of you will take proactive steps to keep someone else from experiencing this - or worse!

Hopefully in a few days we'll be able to chuckle at her shaved leg (for the IV) and be back to normal.

Thanks again for all your concern. I'll use this thread to keep you updated on my contact with Hartz, which will probably be the first phone call they get on Monday morning.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:57 pm 
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The Real Boss
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 am
Posts: 471
Location: North West, UK
WOW, I don?t use hartz but that?s mainly because I always buy my flea treatment from the vets and they sell 'Front Line'. To be honest, I don?t even known if they sell it in the UK; however, I?ll certainly tell everyone I know NOT to use it. I can?t believe they can get away with selling this crap, surely there?s some kind of governing body who oversee quality for this sort of thing, I?m just amazed it hasn?t been banned already!

So glad to hear that Mia is doing well, give her a little cuddle from me and a piece of that fine ham you?ve got stashed at the back of your fridge ;)

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Heidi


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:20 pm 
Yep, they do sell it over here in the UK :angry: We was at the supermarket earlier and they had one of their flea collars on the shelf, so we erm, put it at the back where it couldn't be seen ;)

Do come back at tell us what Hartz say, I'm sure they've heard it many a time before and obviously couldn't care less, long as their money is coming in :angry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:15 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 34
Heidi, what have you been doing nosing around in my fridge?!? :D

Gavin, I'll keep you posted on this. I'm almost relieved this happened after they closed and it is now the weekend. If I had gotten someone on the phone during this crisis yesterday, it wouldn't have been very constructive nor comfortable for anyone. A cooling off period of a couple days will leave me gathered, focused, and ready to have a little chat with Hartz.

I'll let you know what comes of this.

BTW, Mia seems 98% recovered. She is not so surefooted (a little stumble or wobble if trying to balance on the end of the bed or climb), but she is playful and alert as ever. I want her to get some sleep, but she's not interested in that.

You know what's funny? Before yesterday, Sam was MY cat and Mia was my wife's. My wife jokes often that she calls Sam and he comes to me. Mia, however, has a closer bond with my wife - as though Mia "picked" her.

Once Mia came home this morning, she was more affectionate to me than ever before. I mean all over me, and craving my attention. So I wonder this: Do you think she "knows" I saved her? Cats from my past that were "saved" always had the deepest bond with me.

Maybe it's the cat, maybe me, or maybe it's both of us. Either way, there is real, tangible joy in our house today!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:28 am 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 34
First thing, Mia is doing very well now. It appears we are extremely lucky, as she is showing no signs of permanent damage and has already adopted all of her playful "routines".

I made my first contact with Hartz today. I spoke to a representative on the phone and was given the instructions for making my claim. A cooler head did indeed prevail, so the conversation was civil and constructive. All of the documentation on this incident is prepared and will be sent via mail to Hartz for review. I'm interested to see the response.

Copies of my vet bills (around $400) and a hand-written letter from my vet describing the exact cause of Mia's condition and the treatment will be included. I'll also return the unused portion of the product, along with the store information and original sales receipt.

We'll see how things are handled once the ball is in their court. For the record, on the phone they were polite, seemed sincere, and did apologize for the incident. Let's hope they follow through.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:47 am 
Excellent news, glad she's back to normal, you'll be having the normal Bengal madness before long ;)

I still can't believe they continue to sell the product despite the fact they MUST know it has and will continue to kill cats - outrageous! I suppose a refund on the vets bills would be a start, but they can't refund the amount of hearache you've had over this! I don't see why they can't just change to a less toxic formula like advantage etc.... :angry:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 4:59 am 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 34
Very true, Gavin. The money for the vet bills is completely secondary. Upon arrival at the vet, I didn't ask their fee nor did I care. Mia was sick, and I was going to everything in my power to help her. Seeing her in seizure like that will stick with me forever, and no money can change that. She is a part of our family, establishing her place quickly with her amazing personality.

Mia has shown no ill effects in the past few days at all. I think we were extremely lucky in this regard. We braced ourselves for the worst, and thankfully did not have to endure it.

I'll keep you posted on my proceedings with Hartz, although I imagine it will take some time. All of my documentation was mailed to them today, and I'll keep on them to act in reasonable time.


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