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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 8 October 2002 Issue

Hartz Product Allegedly Kills Charlie the Cat

"In August I bought a flea & tick medication for my cat Charlie.  The product was one of the liquid types that you put on the skin under the fur.

This particular product was made by the Hartz company.  I have always heard the Hartz name and had no reason to distrust their product.  Less than 6 hours later my Charlie was in an animal hospital fighting poisoning by the medication that was supposed to kill the fleas.  The emergency vet thought we had put the canine product on our cat, which is a common mistake.  When he found out that the product was made by Hartz he was not surprised, and said that he has seen several animals allegedly react very negatively to this product.  He does not recommend the Hartz product to anyone.  The next morning we contacted our regular vet.  She said that she has never recommended the Hartz flea and tick product for use because alleged incidents just like this. 

Two days later Charlie was dead.  The Hartz Mountain Corp. honored their product guarantee and refunded to us the purchase price of the product, the vet bills, and the costs of sending correspondence.  The refund was sent in a timely manner and without any hassle.  The product packaging contained a warning that some animals may experience adverse reactions such as reddening of the skin.  Nothing was said about watching your cat for symptoms such as uncontrolled shaking or seizures.  I spoke with a representative of the Hartz Corp. and suggested that this type of warning be included in the packaging. 

Their position is that this occurrence was simply an unpredictable allergic reaction, and that it is not anything that would occur frequently enough to warrant changing the wording on their packaging.  This week we went to the County animal shelter and adopted a new kitty.  When I discussed the incident with the people from the shelter, they too allegedly said they do not recommend Hartz products.

A friend who is a lawyer suggested that I file suit against Hartz.  I have already accepted a settlement check from Hartz which closes all claim against the company.  I am not interested in taking Hartz to court or chasing after a large payday.  It won't bring back my cat.  They did honor their guarantee and were very polite.  Fortunately, there was no gag order or non-disclosure clause, so nothing in the settlement prevents me from passing this warning to you.  Before you use any type of flea or tick product on your pet consult your veterinarian.  Use the product they recommend.  Pass the word."


Return to Animals in Print 8 Oct 2002 Issue

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