Author’s Note: First and foremost I want to thank Miss Linda for taking time out of her busy day to speak with me about Tooga and BlueBelle. Second, I want to thank Miss Noel one of the admins of the Paws for Causes page for introducing us. Third many thanks from Miss Linda for the kindness from several key people in assisting with the treatment of her furbabies- Jazzie & the Gang along with Crazy Pumpkin. All pictures were used with permission, please visit Tooga at Tooga’s Tales on facebook.

Sir Tooga..

How old are Tooga and BlueBelle?

He will be 3 this summer, she will be 12 in August.

How did they come to live with you?

BlueBelle was purchased from a pet shop when a breeder had a mistake litter. I believe she is part Siamese and part Snowshoe.  I saw her at the pet shop and fell in love with her there and then. She was a pampered princess until Tooga came into our lives. He was the only survivor and unweened as his mom and brother died after being hit by a car. He was tiny and was covered in fleas and I took him in got him cleaned up and was worried about BlueBelle attacking him, but it was he who went chasing after her. He rules the roost.

Miss BlueBelle

What happened to them?

Well I was out of town and had previously given them the Advantage Flea Control and had left the funds to a friend to purchase more for them, unfortunately they purchased  Hartz Ultraguard and gave it to them. When I returned on a Friday evening Tooga was crouched down, trying to hide with his tongue out. Before I left he was in perfect health and now there was something terribly wrong.  He started to drool and have seizures, I was $25 short of the funds needed to even be seen by the emergency vet and had to wait in agony until Monday. Thankfully I had friends from Jazzie and the gang and Crazy Pumpkin help me through that weekend.

The vet ran tests and it was 4 days later when I was finally told that my cats had been given Hartz instead of Advantage. The vet told me to prepare for the worse as Tooga was close to death. He had gone from a healthy 9 pounds to under 7 pounds in 2 weeks. It was then I called Hartz, though they would not admit to their product causing the problem, they did pay to have a toxicology test done as well as covered the $2,000 vet bill.

The test came back with lethal levels of toxins in his system. He survived, but has to be fed by syringe every 4 hours as he cannot eat by himself.

BlueBelle’s reaction was not as severe  she did lose fur on her belly and her belly was bloated.

Hartz only paid toxicology for Tooga.

All other Vet cost, BlueBelles care and food have been out of pocket. The cost that I’ve incurred is just over $3000. Hartz has stated they will cover cost as soon as I submit paperwork.

What are they currently eating now?

Tooga’s food for one day..

Tooga is fed Hill Science Diet critical care, 3 syringes full every 4 hours. Tooga’s food is approximately $75 per month.

BlueBelle has a special diet eats a high protein diet with yogurt & Gerber carrots & spinach added to help her digestive system. She does get belly massages to keep things moving.

Does Tooga not recognize he’s hungry or can he not eat?

He will walk by the food or try to eat, but he can’t swallow. That’s why I feed him. The feeding is done on top of the washer for easy clean up. He will let me know by growling or clawing at me when he is full.

Tooga playing in water

What about getting enough water?

Both cats love to play in the water, I have three water fountains and BlueBelle knows how to turn on the bathroom faucet. Through playing in the water, the food Tooga gets and the cleaning of his paws he gets plenty of water.

Does Tooga play like normal cats?

Yes. We just have to cut the play session short with him before he gets to excited otherwise he starts to have tremor/mini seizures and wants his blankie where he nurses it for 30-40 minutes then climbs into my lap and rests for the rest of the day.

Are there any problems with him using the litterbox?

No, there was when he was initially sick due to dehydration, but we’ve had no problems since.

Tooga taking a rest

Do you accept donations towards their care?

No. Thankfully they are well taken care of, if anyone would like to do something please donate toward a local cat charity, or if you don’t know of any donate to Paws for Causes, Zombie Kitty Attack or towards the kittens in need that Fatboy Babushka supports. We are very lucky to have gotten so much love and support from the facebook animal community. I am very grateful to Crazy Pumpkin’s mom and Jazzie and the gang’s mom.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Yes. Some days are good and some days are bad, we just take it day by day. I don’t know of any support groups for those whose pets have been affected by Hartz products but please spread the word. The money you save on the flea control  by purchasing Hartz could cost you more time and money in the long run.

Opinions from Others

I asked around on Google+, Twitter, Facebook for input on what they thought about Hartz and here is what a few of them had to say:

We used Hartz flea and tick drops for Wolverine and Sheba. I think the initial application burns a bit because they REALLY didnt like it. After that though there were no problems – Jason H. 

I have seen it cause seizures several times in patients while working at the clinic. The veterinary world has known about the dangers associated with products like Hartz, Sargents & others like it for at least 10 years now but do you think anyone will listen? – Diane E. 

I’ve never had any luck with hartz products, certainly not their flea collars. Its easier to do the squirt on the fur flea prevention. Their shampoo smells good, but I think you have to use it waaay too often, and then it may not work. It seems to me, Hartz is very old school, and many other products are out that actually work and work quicker, easier, or more efficient, even though they may cost more. – Sharon M. 

 A lot of over the counter flea products are not good for pets, I’ve seen a lot of bad things happen when people use them. Veterinarians never recommend that product… ever. – Ann S. 

I personally have not used Hartz products on my cats nor will I ever. My vet has even stopped selling them due to the info I gave them. I hate what the poison has done to Tooga and so many other beautiful animals! – Laura J.

this horrible product should not be available any more. I won’t even buy their toys – Courtney S.

Ma Momma was always afwaid tew use fles atuffs on us dat weren’t fwum the beggie… But i used tew wear a fwea coller dey made when I was little but I don’t wear dems anymore

My Momma was always afraid to use flea stuffs on us that wasn’t from the vet. But I used to wear a flea collar they made when I was little but I don’t wear them anymore. – Spamuel M. Meemo

Links – A website dedicated to spreading the word about other Hartz victims. – A Blog spreading the word about Hartz products – Another website about the danger of using Hartz and the victims left behind. – A news article about a man winning a lawsuit after losing his beloved dog after using a Hartz product – A facebook page dedicated to spreading the word about Hartz

For those that think their pet may be or may have been affected by over-the-counter flea mediences please check out

Author’s Note: While I have made every attempt to be neutral in the article and carry only the opinion of Miss Linda who is the guardian of Tooga and BlueBelle, I personally will no longer be purchasing anymore Hartz products for my furbabies. They have had Hartz products in the past and not had any problems, but I no longer wish to be associated with a company that has had legal issues and has been “paying” off pet owners. There is no true price one can put on their pet, they are family and for Hartz to treat them with such disregard is appalling. I strongly encourage everyone to research the products their are giving their pets and become more involved. Thank you for reading.

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To honor all of the wonderful extra love needed pets that were featured on my blog..the facebook party is at the Furry Paws Disco on 3/24 at 4pm edt here is the link for details..

There’s also a raffle that is going on from now until the 23rd and the winner announced at the party.. there are some great prizes and all the donations for the raffle will benefit the World’s Greatest CatHouse in Englewood, Florida where they are taking care of 200 special needs cats.

I would love to get close to the $1500.00 needed for daily expenses at the World’s Greatest Cat House and make this raffle and party both a success.