and Tick Products Pulled Following Pet Deaths
Hartz Must Relabel Pesticides After
Thousands of illnesses and deaths in cats and
kittens have led to a reissue of some flea and tick products, along with new
warning labels and other protective measures.
June 8, 2005 - Hartz Mountain Corp. will stop
production of several flea and tick products
that may have caused numerous deaths in cats and kittens.
It includes the following pet product brand
- Hartz Advanced Care 4 in 1 Flea & Tick Drops
Plus+ for Cats and Kittens
- Hartz Advanced Care Brand Flea and Tick
Drops Plus+ for Cats and Kittens
- Hartz Advanced Care 3 in 1 Flea & Tick Drops
for Cats and Kittens
- Hartz Advanced Care Once-A-Month Flea and
Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens
A few drops of a flea control
product that are administered on a pet's back may be
poisoning them because of the toxins inside, which could be too strong for cats.
An insecticide named phenothrin is the
primary ingredient found in some flea
and tick products.
The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) said that safety concerns stemming
from use of two flea and tick control products for cats and kittens, led the
agency to persuade
the Hartz Mountain Corp. to enact measures to reduce potential risks to pets
Under an agreement with the EPA,
Hartz has ceased the sale and distribution of Hartz Advanced
Care Brand Flea and Tick Drops Plus for Cats and Kittens and Hartz Advanced Care
Once-a-Month Flea and Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens. The company will recall
and repackage and re-label its existing stock of the pesticides to educate
about their risks.
"EPA sought this agreement due to concerns over
safety issues based on thousands of adverse
effects incidents investigated by EPA," the agency said.
Hartz is required to recover, repackage, and
re-label currently available stock of the flea and
tick drops and to educate consumers about their risks if applied incorrectly.
Hartz will stop all new production of the cat and kitten products by Sept. 30,
2005, and not sell or distribute any affected product after Dec. 31, 2005.
When the new packaging is available in January, Hartz will exchange it for the
a spokesman said today. This is considered "an orderly product exchange" by the
not a recall, and the company is permitted to sell those products that are still
on the shelves.
In the so-called "stripe-on" procedure now
recommended by the company to apply its flea and
tick drops in a stripe down the cat's back, the animals can reach around and
lick it from their fur.
The EPA says incident reports ranged from "minor adverse effects including skin
irritation or hair
loss at the application site and salivation to more serious effects on the
such as tremors (twitching of muscles) and, in some circumstances, severe full
tremors (convulsion). Unfortunately, in some cases, death has also been
In the new process, the drops are applied at
the base of the cat's head. As part of these
changes, Hartz will also include a more detailed precautionary statement on the
The company worked closely with the EPA to develop this new packaging and
To continue to evaluate safety concerns for
cats, the EPA is also requiring Hartz to submit an
additional animal safety study conducted by an independent laboratory, and to
additional quarterly reports specific to cats, summarizing any incidents of
from Hartz products.
The new product labels, which will start
appearing on store shelves over the next several
months, will direct users to consult with a veterinarian before use of these
debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant or nursing animals, or animals known to
to pesticides. The labels will advise that cats should be monitored after
application of the
product and if any adverse symptoms are observed, the animal should be washed
mild soap and rinsed with water and evaluated by a veterinarian.
The EPA is also requiring Hartz to conduct a
consumer education program, which will include
a website, direct mail campaign to pet owners, pet stores and veterinarians on
the new safety improvements. If consumers choose to return any of the Hartz
products, the company
is expected to exchange it for the relabeled product or refund the purchase
The company is also required to improve
labeling on individual tubes of the affected
products to help ensure consumers are using them correctly.
Known Adverse Reactions - Any
pets that exhibit the warning signs should be taken
for treatment immediately!
Dizziness or symptoms related to balance
Convulsions or seizures
Tremors of the extremities, twitching
In extreme cases, death may result from prolonged
seizure activity or respiratory failure
Recommended Actions For Owners Who Use any Flea
Always monitor your pets when you have applied any flea
If you notice your pet starting to act differently
anywhere from minutes to a few hours up
to a day later: Immediately give your pet a through bath. Avoid extremes in
temperature of water.
Hot increases absorption and cold increases toxicity.
Try to get as much of the product off as possible. Have
someone call your Vet while you are
doing this. Get your pet to a Vet for medical attention. Take the packaging from
product with you.
If you do not have a Vet or cannot get in contact with
a Vet you can
call the ASPCA's National Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435.
Do not use flea products on very young, nursing, senior
or animals with medical
conditions without discussing it first with a Vet.
Read the label and directions.
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