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The Unkown Dangers of Over the Counter Flea Products

Updated on September 8, 2012

All flea/tick products are NOT created equal

Anybody who is a pet owner knows that fleas can be very difficult to get rid of once your pet has brought them in the house. You see your dear pet itching and scratching. You try bathing them,with little or no result. You try vacuuming 50 times a day. You might have even looked for home remedies on the Internet. You try everything you can think of,until finally you give in and go to the nearest store and purchase a flea product. You thought about buying from the vet,but they are so expensive! They all work the same anyways,right?


If flea control products have harmed your beloved pet,be sure to report it to the EPA,and FDA. Also make sure to file a report with the company that makes the product. The more people speak up,the faster we can save other animals from these poisons.
If flea control products have harmed your beloved pet,be sure to report it to the EPA,and FDA. Also make sure to file a report with the company that makes the product. The more people speak up,the faster we can save other animals from these poisons.

Flea products sold in stores are usually much,much cheaper than the more expensive varieties that you would purchase through a vet. Often times, people living on a budget purchase the product in an effort to save money and help their pet at the same time. Over the counter flea products are (sadly) approved to be sold over the counter in grocery/department stores all over the world. Many people would assume that if the products were harmful,then they would be banned from shelves. However,this is very far from the actual reality of the situation. Many cats and dogs have become very sick,and have even died from toxins in flea and tick products.

My own cat was a victim of the Sergeants brand flea powder,so I speak from experience. Unfortunately he did not live through it,and passed away only 4 days after using it. I have also been told stories first hand from friends and acquaintances whose pets had serious reactions. The Internet is chock full of stories from other pet owners who have lost pets because of these flea sprays/powders. Even flea collars are risky,because some animals develop hair loss and extreme itching from the chemicals in them. Even in lab tests,animals have shown adverse reactions,and yet they still keep these poisons on the market!

The packages are labeled with warnings for humans to wash their hands after application and not to allow the product to come in contact with your skin,or children. So if flea treatments require such a warning for humans,how is it possibly safe for us to put it on our pets skin? The answer is: IT'S NOT SAFE!

Still not convinced? Read about some of these horrifying stories,straight from the consumers.
Still not convinced? Read about some of these horrifying stories,straight from the consumers.

Using over the counter flea control products can cause the following reactions in dogs/cats


Upset stomach/unable to eat



Confusion and blank look on face

Respiratory problems



Kidney failure

Neurological problems (unable to hold normal posture while walking,twitching eyes,falling over)

Severe itching/burning

If your pet experiences any of these signs and symptoms after the use of flea products,immediately bathe the animal in dawn dish liquid,and rinse with lots of water. Since dawn is very good at cutting grease,it also is good at rinsing flea product residue from your pets body. Be sure and take your pet to the veterinarian after bathing it thoroughly.

If your pets has fleas and you must resort to medicating the animal,please spend the extra money and purchase frontline or advantage through your veterinarian. They are much safer for your pet,and also actually kill the fleas rather than killing your pet. It is well worth the extra money in the end!


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I too had given my yorkie the Hartz flea drops.Within a couple of hours she was crazy with itching. She has been running around with extreme itching of the area the drops were put on.I have bathed her twice, and have given her a small abount of Benadryl. She is not responding well to this. I sure hope this gets better.I will never use hartz procducts again! Any others have this problem with a small breed, if so what was the outcome?

    • magnoliazz profile image


      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I tried Hartz flea and tick drops on my Yorkie Poo and within just a few hours she was acting strange. In the middle of the night she was jumping around up and down off the bed, so unlike her. I immediatley gave her a bath to get the flea and tick drops off her, now she appears to be fine, but I am giving her one more bath, just to be on the safe side. I guess I will be sticking with my pine tar soap remedy, I have to apply it everyday, but thats better than getting my pet sick.

      I also checked out the websites that are all about the terrible track record of Hartz products. Everyone with pets needs to check out some of these stories, I have no idea how Hartz is still on the market. I will be contacting Walmart to complain too, as they are the biggest sellers of Hartz products. of course, Hartz is not the only culpret, just about every OTC drops have their own horror stories, I would avoid ALL OTC flea and tick products.

      The lessons I learned...if you want flea and tick drops....get them from your vet. Sure they cost a lot, but I would go without to keep my pet healthy. Pets are just like children. If you have a pet, you have the responsibility of taking care of it the same way you would care for a child.

      Thanks for this hub, you probably saved some pet's life. I think I will also be writing a hub on this subject and will link back to this hub.


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