Tag Archive | fleas

Sargents FLEA DROPS almost killed my cat~ OTC Flea remedies are toxic & can be lethal & need to be banned~!

WE HOWEVER STILL HAD THE WHITE CAT & THIS YEAR [2011] SHE CONTRACTED FLEAS SO WE BOUGHT THE HARTZ ULTRA GUARD PLUS Collar at Walmart and it slowly killed her over the course of a month. I thought she was getting a urinary tract infection so was going to bring her to the Vet, but then by her behavior I remembered what happened to other people cats from drops & collars.

By the time we removed the collar and were going to bring her to the Vet she died.

So here we go:

It’s flea and tick season, again.

My dogs already got fleas and brought some into the house. 2 of my son’s cats also got out and caught some. Last but not least MY cat, who has never been outside, got some too~

My cat , who never goes out, caught the fleas despite her relatively new flea collar and was itching terribly to get them off and spreading them as she went from room to room.

I found her on top of my bed and saw 3-4 fleas hop off so I caught and killed them immediately.It was the 30th, so I had one more day to wait for my check so  to buy her another flea collar.

Last  month I picked up a single dose tube of Sargents Cat Flea drops at a discount store in Big Flats NY to try on my cats, but had just put flea collars on each of them, so didnt use the drops right away. 

I also have a 3 pack at home of Hartz for the dogs, but my son said he didnt want to use them as his vet had some sort of pill he wanted to get for his pups & dogs as we have 7 and I planned on treating them all at the same time.

Now we will never use any flea drops ever again. They are not safe! All the over the counter {OTC} remedies by Sargent, Hartz, Bansect &  smaller brands, use insecticides that poison the pet  while killing the fleas. Pets may become lathargic or irritable, vomit or shed fur or scratch causing sores or fur loss. While the majority of animals do not die from this slow poisoning, it shortens their lifespan, as it enters their sebaceous glands & actually causes them continual pain til the stuff wears off~

Vets have safer brands~ Advantage, Frontline, Advantix – The ones for cats is based differently than the ingredients for dogs. Dog Flea Drops are lethal for cats & also for sensitive dogs. Problem is you cant judge how sensitive the dog will be.  Last year a healthy Labrador Retriever had a flea bath with Sargents for dogs~ Over the next several days he lost his appetite and strength & though the  pet owner took him to the Vet, all they could do was watch the poor dog slowly die as the poison in the bath destroyed him from the inside out~

The Government doesnt set the regulations good enough to protect our pets. Sargents Customer Service told me they need the Vat #s of the bad drops since they ‘outsource’ them abroad and sometimes get a bad vat~!!! Some vats can be too strong and thus more lethal.

Sargents asked me to send in my Vet Bills as though they were going to reimburse me but all they did was weigh out their liability since I told them the tube was discarded at the Vet’s so I couldnt return the carton or tube.  I did let them know which store I got it from and also contacted the store to see if any more from that vat were there, but unfortunately they sold them all.

Many owners dont even associate their pets sudden illnesses with the application of these products since often the reactions slowly start and take days or even weeks til the animal dies. In my cat’s case however, the reaction was severe & life threatening withing 2 hours~

 They can and do kill pets~they aren’t just repellents, they are poison!

They enter the fur and go into the sebaceous glands of the animal and that is how they get rid of the fleas but they also affect the animal’s central nervous system! Any animal can have a reaction at any time too .

So even if you used it before and didnt notice any harm, doesnt mean it isnt having an accumulative effect on your pet and the very next dose used could be the lethal one~!

Meanwhile at the time I didn’t know how devastating Flea drops and other Flea products are . I was under the impression that the same medicine[which I now know is a poison] worked the same for cats and dogs as they get the same fleas.

I thought the medicine was only toxic to the bugs and not the pets! Many people are under the same assumption I was. It is almost kinder to shoot the pet than to put Sargents or Hartz onto them making them suffer~[not really shooting, but by example its quicker than letting these supposedly safe flea products on them that cause pain , suffering & even death in many animals]

I thought they were sold based on size of the animal, so that smaller doses were for cats and puppies and larger doses were for dogs. I thought when my cat reacted that I may have used the dog tube by mistake, but later my son checked all the tubes in the draw and the Hartz dog ones were unopened, so he told me that I did in fact use the cat drops…. Regardless, both are toxic to animals~!!

I believed that was the only difference was volume of drops to be applied, but even ones designated for larger dogs, can be quickly lethal to puppies and smaller breeds of  dogs.

I didnt know that some dog doses even have something different in them that the dog’s liver is supposed to be able to process but that the cat’s liver can not process.

So why sell toxic pet products?? 


 I later learned about this at the Vet’s when it was already too late!

So, on that night, I then had this single dose tube for the cats,  but since we have 3 cats,initially I was waiting to get more of the drops to treat them with at the same time, since their flea collars weren’t as effective as they should have been as they each were scratching with fleas~ I DIVIDED A SINGLE DOSE TUBE FOR 1 CAT AND PUT JUST 2 DROPS ON EACH OF OUR 3 CATS….SO if anything it should have been less effective, but never lethal~

 Two of my son’s  cats had recently gotten outside and so they too, were  bringing in fleas, even though they had on relatively new flea collars! That was why I was going to try  the flea drops.

My cat however was  never outside, but between the traffic of the puppies being taken out for ‘walks’ and the other two cats having gotten out, my little cat wasnt immune and her collar obviously wasnt working either.

She was scratching nonstop and over the last few weeks was  losing fur down on her back by her tail. Her coat had lost its luster.

I told my son that I was going to make an appt to get her  neutered this month so she too could start going out like the others.

I thought her sudden hair loss was from some displacement activity as she goes into ‘heat’ so often which was why I didnt let her out either as I didnt want her to get pregnant.

It didnt occur to me that the hair loss was from from the Bansect flea collar that  I put on her just  over a month ago and yet there were fleas on her anyway so what good was that collar doing? It was not keeping the fleas off and so I thought I had to try something else.

I then decided to divide the one tube I had,   up over the 3 cats and would just get more in the morning.  [so I thought]

The other 2 cats each got a few drops each as they were the ones going out the most.

Then I squeezed the last 2 drops of the open flea drop tube medication  and  put them on my cat’s neck, thinking it couldn’t hurt using so little and hoping it would  bring her some relief, if even  for just the night. 

2-3 hours later she was writhing in pain seizing and convulsing, foaming at the mouth!

I went to pick her up, she bolted and ran into
things crashing her body all over the house and ran into the

My son  caught her and  placed her into a cage , while I  began calling vets in our area.

Our regular vet was out of town and it was night.

Another Vet called back and arranged for his Vet tech to meet us at his office and she began the treatment to try to and save my poor little cat.

 She cut off the Bansect  flea collar and said she was going to give her a bath in Dawn Dishwashing detergent, to remove any residue of the flea drops. I  gave her the empty Sargents Cat Flea Drops tube, in case she needed it for determining what antidote to give or to call their company. I didnt know I should have kept the tube for proof of what it did to  my cat~!!

 She said the standard proceedure was  to put an IV  for fluids in her [to prevent dehydration] and give her  a variety of meds to stop the seizures [ methocarbomal & valium & 1 other med]  and whatever else the Vet may determine as necessary and would call us the next day.

We left and went home worried as she looked like she was going to die.

She remained in the animal hospital 2 days on the  IV for 1 day and then observation & then allowed to come home to recover.

We are lucky since many pets die  from over the counter flea remedies, since the government doesnt properly regulate them.

Many owners don’t even know that these flea products can do what happened to her. My son said she looked like she had rabies with all the convulsing and foaming at the mouth~

 The Vet  bill however was $485 payable immediately with no payment plan available! I live on disability but it was the beginning of the month, so I hadnt yet paid my bills and diverted the money to paying the Vet.

We were very grateful that they saved her ,but unprepared for such a large bill, which forced  me to stay home all summer as I couldnt re-register my car til August as I had to catch up on my own rent & household bills first.

These poisons used in pet care products should be illegal.Anyone who has had a similar experience should blog about it, write to their Congressman & Senators as well as their State Representative’s offices ~! The more people who report these  reactions will eventually force the government to look into it and ban the cheap  toxic ingredients that the manufacturers are still ‘legally’ allowed to use. Sargents claimed that only 1 in a 1000 animals have the reaction, but there is no way to prove that since many owners are unaware that it is the flea products making their animals sick~!!

Since they are sold over the counter everywhere, Hartz and Sargents & Bansect are well  known brands,  many  people assume them to be safe but they aren’t~They are all toxic~!!

They use pesticide based poisons in  their ingredients because it is cheaper to make and they make a great profit on them, but they could use safer ingredients that will work, but corporate greed prevents them.

Sargents Customer Service Representative said to me on the phone ‘only’ 1:10,000 die, but after reading so many horror stories of adverse reactions in pets and the lengths and expense owners have to go through to save their pets, I bet the fatality rate is much higher. Other victims agree.

I  joined HartzVictims Org and am now  joining with other organizations in making other pet owners aware of the dangers of flea drops on cats.

No cat or dog should have to suffer this way!

Its hard to believe that only using 2 drops  was so devastating to my cat!

 Worse now is all the stories I am reading online of other pets dying terrible deaths from owners not only using  flea drops, but flea shampoos and even flea collars cause illness , allergic reactions and death.

 I will not put another  Flea Collar  on any of my pets  ever again as sure enough the spot near her tail is already starting to grow new fur and her coat is softer again- that fast! – only a few days~!

So the flea collar was causing her fur to fall out since she was a kitten, but it didnt seem like the collars fault to me since the fur came out at the base of her tail  and not around the collar area, because the poisons used in them enter the sebaceous glands just like the flea drops do and can cause hair loss anywhere on the pet’s body.

Since she didnt lose fur around her neck I didnt associate the fur loss to the flea collar.

The Vet recommendes Advantix Flea Drops and so treated her before she was discharged from the hospital. Vet offices sell the safest products, Frontline, Advantage  & Advantix and can tell you which one is right for your pet~ It will cost a few dollars more, but save your pet alot of misery  & maybe save their life. It will also save you a fortune on Vet bills should your pet have a violent reaction.

She said Advantix and Frontline are the only ones they feel are ‘ safe enough’  for animals and that none of the over the counter Hartz or Sargents products are safe! She said that  most Vets already know this and do tell their patients but many people assume that all pet products sold are safe, when in fact they are not.

Why then are they still allowed to sell them and use the ingredients that prove time and time again to be so dangerous to pets? Not enough complaints have been filed with our politicians to cause them to do anything about it~!!  WE all need to let them know that this is not acceptable  & these products need to have their toxins removed from their products and be replaced with the safer ones.


Ave Hurley

Accidental Cat Poisoning story: https://avehurley.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/common-flea-drops-will-quickly-kill-your-cat/




Common Flea drops WILL quickly KILL your CAT !


I didn’t know better but should have~ I picked up a single dose tube of Sargents Flea Drops .They were placed in a drawer that we keep pet products in. WE also had a 3 pack of Hartz Mountain that we were saving to use in August when more fleas are out around  here  since we already put new flea collars on each of our cats and dogs, but on that night my small grey cat started scratching like mad and even with the 3  week old flea collar,fleas were popping off her and onto the bedspread. I caught and killed those fleas and then went to the pet drawer and took out the already opened white tube  of drops and though I knew it was a single dose, I put only 2 drops on back of her neck and then ontop the other 2 cats thinking it would help if the flea collars weren’t.

I had no clue that using so little could do so much harm! Had I used a whole tube she would have died for sure.

 Well, I had also used them on the other cats so there were a couple of drops  for each  one and  I  squeezed out the last 2 drops to put them on the back  of  my little grey cat’s neck.

I could not read any of the microscopic fine print on the card anyway, as   the vial was attached to as it was too blurry for my eyes but thought it might not be enough so planned on buying more the next day. The card it came on had already been discarded.


I was only looking to give her some relief as her flea collar just didnt seem to work well enough. I assumed they were the small dog/puppy drops but also honestly didnt think there would have been much of a difference either way, since alot of meds  like worm meds have similar ingredients just larger amounts for dogs.

Still I knew my cat was about 6 lbs and she was scratching terribly from the fleas that the dogs & other 2 cats  brought into the house had  found their way to her.

She had been extremely itchy & when sitting on my bed several fleas had popped on my bedspread, so I caught & killed them quickly  and then looked for that open tube of  flea poison for her as I had already had put some on the other 2 cats since they were the ones going outside. I was only able to squeeze out 2 drops on my finger and rubbed them on the back of her head.

 3 hours later she suddenly was convulsing and writhing, foaming at the mouth and bursting into fits running and crashing into things. My son saw her first and called me saying he thought she had rabies .

My son caught her when she ran into a bathroom closet & we caged her. I told  him since she had never been outdoors that it was  impossible for her to have rabies & that she had a rabies shot last year anyway.

I said it had to  have something to do with the flea drops I used on her, so I began looking up online symptoms and found that the drops could cause those symptoms. 

We began calling vets , all closed ~ but the one located at Animal Crackers former building outside of Wellsboro was familiar with flea drop poisoning, so the Vet told us to come right down and a Vet Tech, Hillary met us there, took our cat and began treatment immediately.

There is a different flea killing ingredient in dog flea drops than in cat flea drops which when used on cats attacks their liver and central nervous system~ highly toxic to cats~but some are also toxic to dogs ! I wasn’t sure which one I had used as I had a tube for the puppies too and both were out of the cartons so I brought the tube that  I  used  and gave it to the tech so that it might help in diagnosing what meds to give her.

 So it isn’t size and weight issue, its an actual chemical poison used in flea drops that is the issue and my cat has almost died from it.Now I see dogs too are dying from it.

I just called the vet and she is still alive and may recover thankfully. She is still being treated. It will be a very expensive lesson on my part and is extremely traumatic and life threatening for my poor cat as she is less than 2 years old and trusted me to take good care of her!

Treatment includes bathing off all the residue of the drops immediately with a soap based shampoo.

Intravenous fluids are important to stop the dehydration and to admininster muscle relaxers since the poison attacks the cat’s central nervous system.

Other meds including sedatives and pain relief are also needed.

Although some cats/dogs can survive this poisoning , some owners decide to ‘ride it out’ without veterinary care, the cat/dog will most likely die~ the pain involved as well as the involuntary writhing and convulsing is extremely painful to the pet –


DON’T WAIT IT OUT~Your pet is in excrutiating pain,convulsing,seizing,vomiting and running into things~!!



So an ignorant but well meaning action on my part, I caused my dear little cat to suffer horribly~ I called the vet today and she is responding to treatment since I got her there right away~ and she might be able to come home tomorrow~Thank God~! I didnt want her to die.

So I may be late with my rent this month, as the treatment is expensive, I am sure, as I have not received the billing yet~and will have to of course, pay for my mistake before bringing my cat home.

Included below is articles I found today, that explain what this poison does to cats~[since my cat was the one affected] so be aware that  Flea Drops instructions have to be carefully followed but looking for signs of a reaction is very important as the toxins build up in the animal and may work  one time but the next time could be the amount needed to be toxic.

Also it isnt merely a marketing issue that they mark some cards for puppies, dogs or cats as there can be other ingredient strengths that are not safe [none are actually ‘safe’] or that just because something is safe  on dogs or other animals doesnt make it safe for cats or puppies !! I just saw a video of a full grown labrador retriever dying 3 days after a flea bath~!!

I am so sorry that I put my poor cat through this and will always look to check safety of a product in the future.My Vet says none of the over the counter flea products are safe and since many outsource to other countries that they may even have some mixtures stronger than others so they can not be trusted~

Now why these flea drop companies do put a some small warnings like do not use on cats -[if you can find the warnings hidden in the fine print] it should of instead been emphatic “WILL KILL CATS”  Or Dogs~!

Or  better Warning  “Just  ONE DROP CAN KILL  YOUR  PET ” would have been more to the point- STRONGER WARNING LABELS ARE NEEDED~

Naturally then no one would buy them~! So they hide the danger in how they word things on their packaging , so most people assume they’re safe.

The Vet  & also blogs show this is  a common mistake many pet owners make. I am not the first fool to do this~

Safety of Flea Drops
As mentioned above because topical flea treatments utilize modern drugs targeting insect nervous systems or growth hormones they are much safer for your pet than older flea poisons, or so they claim!

There are endless amounts of  cases of side-effects but they are few and far between and usually extremely mild.

The most common form of side effect is an allergy to the non-active components in the flea drops. These are usually very mild vomiting or temporary hair loss at the site of administering the product. Animals with such allergies are obviously better treated with a different form of flea control in future.

The widespread fear of flea drops comes primarily from incorrect use of the products, according to those selling them, but the toxins used can affect each animal differntly so they should be banned.

For example giving a small animal a dose specified for a much larger one, or even more dangerous, giving dog medicine to a cat, but they dont know what to say to the person who used the medicine according to directions and the animal still dies~

 Cat’s are highly sensitive to one ingredient often used in dog flea control products so should never be given anything other than a cat flea treatment, but then again ones designated for cats specifically still can kill cats.Likewise ones made specifically for dogs are still killing dogs ~ so there is something else the manufacturer is not doing right. It’s easier for them to blame the grieving pet owner and try to confuse them by saying they had to be the ones who did something wrong, when a pet owner can not always recognize the signs of an allergic reaction or of a toxic reaction.

For some more information about your cat flea treatment click on the link.

Some ingredients are meant to render female fleas unable to lay viable eggs. If an insect is affected it is unable to reproduce so drug-resistant offspring should not be a problem, according to those manufacturing it, but this ingredient also enters a cat and dogs sebaceous glands through the skin, so as a poison will have some sort  of accumulative effect and while one dog or cat may be more resisitant to side effects another one may not as is the case in all those who have reactions and all those who die from the flea products.

Longer Lasting Flea Control
With most flea killing products there is also opportunity for a residual effect. Because flea drops are actually absorbed in the animal’s oil gland network the active ingredients remain at the surface of the skin for a relatively long time.

All the leading topical cat flea treatments will remain effective for at least a month. In practice some such as Frontline will actually carry on providing complete flea protection for six weeks and while Frontline and Advantage are more expensive to use, they are safer than Hartz or Sargents, since they use cheaper ingredients which are more dangerous.

Safety of Flea Drops
As mentioned above because topical flea treatments utilise modern drugs targeting insect nervous system or growth hormones they are much safer for you pet than older flea poisons.

There are cases of side-effects but they are few and far between and usually extremely mild to severe and to fatalities that often go unreported.

The most common form of side effect is ‘said to be an allergy’ to the non-active components in the flea drops, but some reactions are to the toxins in them and not allergic but actually  lethal to many pets.

Manufacturers dont want the bad publicity so sometimes pay off victims as it is still cheaper than changing their product ingredients to something safer.

The manufacturers say reactions are usually very mild vomiting or temporary hair loss at the site of administering the product, as they downplay the danger of their products  and exploit the owners need to be rid of the fleas.

Animals with such ‘allergies’, they will concede,  are obviously better treated with a different form of flea control in future, should the owner be lucky enough to recognizze the milder reactions.Or if the pet survives ~

They claim that the  widespread fear of flea drops comes primarily from incorrect use of the products according to the manufacturers, but thats a lie since  many die from correct usage as well !

For example giving a small animal a dose specified for a much larger one, or even more dangerous, giving dog medicine to a cat, are their obvious arguments , but what about the larger dogs who die suddenly from accurate dosing? What chances do the smaller dogs and cats have when big dogs also die from it?

How many pet owners who are not doctors, vets or scientists, rely on and  trust the manufacturers to supply a safe effective product?

It is already known and admitted that cats are highly sensitive to an ingredient often used in dog flea control products so should never be given anything other than a cat flea treatment, but they are also sensitive to other ingredients and so there is still a problem with keeping these products available for public use.

Ingredients that are toxic to animals should not be used~!There are many nontoxic ingredients available but Hartz & Sargents are too greedy to use them and rather let pets die.

Toxic ingredients need to be banned and made illegal.

They should be removed from the shelves of stores.

For more information about your cat flea treatment click on the link which has some info but may be jaded by the special interest groups .

I wish I read this  and other articles before applying those drops to my cat~! I never would have used them at all and now will only use what the Vet recommends~


Here is another case & people also trying to raise awareness:


Symptoms  of one ingredient in many flea drop remedies: http://pethealth101.com/poison/PoisonSigns&Symptoms.shtml

Permethrin poisoning Cats is another one for example: http://www.petalia.com.au/templates/storytemplate_process.cfm?specie=Cats&story_no=2147&pafid=2349

Flea poison ingredient for dogs is different than for cats but both can still kill your pets~ http://www.nearlydrferox.blogging4life.com/?p=436

Cat owners accidentally poisoning their cats ~!http://www.cats.com.au/articles/486/catownerspoisoningtheirpets.shtml

while many products do say not to use on cats, many owners assume the ingredients to kill the fleas wont kill their cats but that it is merely stronger medicine, so think applying smaller amounts would be safe ~ when in fact it isnt safe and can often be deadly~

BEFORE YOU CAN FIND A VET : IMMEDIATE FIRST AID FOR CATS and Dogs is to wash them thoroughly with Dawn dishwashing detergent to remove the oily base holding the poison in the fur and on the skin of the animal [not to be instead of vet care ,only if a vet is unavailable]http://www.bigcatrescue.org/poisons.htm

Even some flea collars can kill your cat~! http://www.getipm.com/articles/letters/flea-collar.htm

Manufacturers need to stop using ingredients that are toxic to animals and meanwhile make stronger stated warnings on their products and not simple benign statements such as ‘DO NOT USE ON CATS’ – because buyers are not aware of how deadly these products are  and assume they are safe since they are sold over the counter in supermakets and pet stores.

My cat is expected to recover. The bill is going to be very high and I can not afford it , living myself on disability~  All I can do is hope to raise awareness to prevent this from happening to others.

Ave Hurley