Let’s face it, none of us wants to have to deal with fleas- they are an icky situation for both you and your dog! Lucky for us pet owners, there are many treatments available out there that are able to both prevent and treat problems caused by these pesky little blood sucking insects. In this article, we will be discussing about a commonly used flea treatment product known as Hartz Ultraguard. Please be advised that there are photos in this article involving open wounds that may be hard to see for some readers.
However before dwelling into the topic, let’s quickly talk about where fleas come from and what they do to your dog.
A Quick Rundown on Fleas
How does a dog get fleas?
Dogs are often infested with fleas through contact with other animals or the environment. While fleas do not have wings, they do have a super strong jump. Propelled into the air with their strong back legs, the insects are able to jump from host to host or from the environment onto a host.
What happens if my dog is infested with fleas?
Fleas feed on your dogs blood. While their bite typically causes mild itching for the host, this itching can be quite severe in pets which are sensitive or allergic to the insects saliva- possibly leading to inflammation, secondary skin infections or even hair-loss. Definitely not pleasant!
What do I treat my dog with if he has fleas?
There are a variety of different flea control products available, all of which act to eliminate the fleas on your dog. These include once a month topical products, shampoos, sprays, collars and even oral agents. These products are essentially insecticides and work by killing the fleas. It may take a while to eliminate all the fleas in your household, so persistence is essential! Flea combs are also super handy for combing out the insects from your dog’s fur, and they give you an extra excuse to add a bit of bonding moment with your pet!
What is Hartz Ultraguard?
Hartz Ultraguard is a line of flea and tick treatment/preventatives for dogs and cats that can be commonly found in pet stores, grocery markets and dollar stores (The fact that it can be purchased from a dollar store should raise a red flag). It comes in various strengths, and dosage forms including topical drops, shampoo, dips, sprays and collars. With it being so readily available, it therefore should not be surprising to know that it is bought and used by many pet owners around the world.
The Issue with Hartz Ultraguard Flea Treatment
The product contains Etofenprox, a pyrethroid derivative as its main insecticidal ingredient. This neurotoxin, whilst effective at killing fleas, have also been documented and known to cause severe adverse reactions, and even death in pets. Many pet owners have reported instances in which their pets have started to seize, vomit or become unresponsive after application of the product. Unfortunately, not every pet is able to live through the experience; the truth is, every year countless family pets fall victim to the product.
After 4 hours of profuse rectal bleeding she collapsed on her side and started yelping. We called our vet at about 6 am and he said he could meet us at his office in a half-hour. Unfortunately, it was too late. – from hartzvictims.org
She was puking , and not steady on her feet very well […] Later that night, She was up looking to go outside like she does, but the back legs of my girl went out. Then she starting panting, heavy breathing, and she was done. – from hartzvictims.org
Within two days, he was limping on his front foot. After two more days, he wouldn’t walk at all. He ate a few pieces of food if I hand fed it to him but that was all. After another day, he couldn’t stand, walk and wouldn’t eat or drink anything. – C from consumeraffairs.com
Fortunately, not all pets suffer the same tragic fate and some are able to live through the experience. However having said this, the fact that they have endured and suffered from this flea treatment product stands and cannot be dismissed. Some pets may also experience permanent skin damage as a result of using the product.
Finally, after 3 months of doing treatments, she is now completely healed. No more “meat” is showing and her skin is closed up. She still doesn’t have any hair growth, and it probably wont come back, but we still love her and are thankful this situation didn’t end differently. – from hartzvictims.org
Over the next two weeks, we were in and out of the vet and the animal hospital at a cost of over $1,200. Their health continued to decline, getting worse every day until DJ appeared paralyzed. He couldn’t walk at all. – from hartzvictims.org
Also, I am now stuck with a bill for my dog when I go and pick him up tomorrow for about one thousand dollars, and he will possibly have to be put down anyways. I want something done about this. – Joshua from consumeraffairs.com
What do I do if I have already applied the Hartz flea medication onto my pet?
Wash your pet immediately. Wash him/her thoroughly with a dish washing soap such as Dawn dish soap and luke warm water. The dish washing soap will help to remove the toxic chemicals from your pet’s skin. It is highly recommended for you to repeat the washing process 3-4 times until you are confident that there is no insecticide remaining on their skin. To be safe, it is also advisable to seek veterinarian attention for your pet after the washing.
Why do people still use Hartz Ultraguard Flea products?
Those who have used the product did not know any better. The Hartz Ultraguard is also a cheaper and therefore more attractive alternative to other prescription flea treatments and preventatives. Its wide availability in supermarkets, grocery stores and dollar stores may also have something to do with its infamous popularity.
Education is key! With flea season approaching, more beloved pets will undoubtedly fall victim to the product. Please share this knowledge with your fellow dog and cat owners to help decrease the amount of Hartz victims.
Where can I read more about this?
You can read more about the issue with Hartz at the following websites: