You wouldn’t think we’d have to be hyper-vigilant about the dog shampoos we find on the brightly lit shelves of our favorite grocery store. Just because it’s got a nice label and a place on the shelf, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe though.
This is especially true about flea and tick drops and shampoos for dogs and cats.
One brand, in particular, Hartz, has consistently been under fire for the rate at which its toxic products lead to animal deaths. A post circulating Facebook this past week told a chilling story of warning.
“A coworker used this shampoo on his dogs (Shitzus) last night and both dogs were dead within an hour. Turns out there is a pending? possible class action lawsuit against this brand because dogs (and cats) have died after using it.”
Heartbroken And Angry Families
As it turns out, many animals have tragically fallen victim to these dangerous products. Their devastated families want justice.
A website called HartzVictims.org serves as a community for victims to share their stories and their desire for action. The “About” page explains its creator’s motivation.
“The site was created shortly after my wife’s and my cat, Riley, fell victims to Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick drops. We nearly lost our little friend, but thanks to our vigilant vet, he luckily survived. I found very few resources on the web when Riley was affected by Hartz’s poison, so I started this Website to help others find information and to provide victims with a voice so their stories can be heard.”
There have been over 400 pages worth of stories posted on the site, and they’re all heartbreaking. Commenter Joni Flowers lost a Yorkshire Terrier.
“I had a Teacup Yorkie for several years. She was our baby. I gave her a bath in the Hartz shampoo and within a few hours she became lethargic and then seizing and died before I could get her to the emergency vet.”
Another commenter Todd Wagner told the story of Gunner the English Bulldog’s suffering.
“Our English bulldog all but died on us. He had to get a blood transfusion and stay multiple nights in the ER and they doctors prepped us that he had a high chance of not making it. This happened because his body was exposed to something that was making his red blood cells attack each other.. 4 thousand dollars of vet bills later we are happy to have our baby still but DO NOT use this product.”
Hartz Is Not A New Hazard
What’s worse is that this appears to have been going on for a while now. A petition from 5 years ago aimed to spread awareness of the dangers these products pose to animals.
According to an NBC investigation from 2009, flea and tick shampoos like these contain a type of pesticide called pyrethrins or the synthetic versions known as pyrethroids. These are basically the same chemicals you’d find in cans of Raid.
Symptoms from poisoning reported most often are seizures, tumors, skin lesions, and lethargy.
One devastated man from California named Rich Parsons told NBC (ten years ago) that his dog Duffy died two days after using a Hartz flea and tick product. The products gave him seizures.
“If they’re on a shelf in a grocery store or drug store, you assume it’s been tested and is fine.”
If you have Hartz products, throw them out immediately. Spread the word to every pet parent you know!
Featured Image: Kim Schultz/Facebook