January 12, 2008

Warning about OTC Flea Medication!

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about topical flea treatments that are sold OTC. Apparently the boxes do not disclose all of the known adverse reactions and the result can be deadly to our pets. I will preface this by saying that I am one of those dog people and my furbabies are family.

Here's a copy of the email that I sent to Wal-Mart (the Sergeant's site limits the amount of characters that you can use so I have to parse it down to send to them):

I am writing to you concerning a distressing experience that I am having after using a product purchased at my local Wal-Mart. After noticing fleas on one of my two dogs earlier today, I purchased Sergeant's Gold Flea & Tick Squeeze-On For Dogs. Within an hour or so of applying 1/3 of the application to each of my dogs (I'm always cautious with any new medication) I noticed that the youngest one was drooling excessively and not being her usual active self. She was just sitting and watching me and her brother, which is TOTALLY the opposite of how she is. I immediately grew concerned because of the drooling. I wondered if it was some sort of allergic reaction and something told me to wash it off of her... I'm thanking God that I felt the need to use something stronger than her regular shampoo and used dishwashing liquid (I happened to have Dawn on hand). It's a few hours later and she's no longer drooling but she's still not totally back to normal.

As for my other dog, he started gagging up globs of spit about an hour ago and is very restless. I've washed him with Dawn several times as well and I'm praying that my pets are ok by morning. After I washed them both again I sat down and googled the symptoms and was surprised to find that there are entire blogs and sites dedicated to this issue. Some pet owners even report that their pets have died after coming into contact with these products and that they’ve contacted Sergeants directly to notify them of the issue.

I'm extremely distressed and concerned for my pet's health and I'm ticked that these problems are sold OTC with the only warning being a possible rash or hair loss. I NEVER would have purchased the product if I had known about these other possible reactions. These allergic reactions (I'm assuming that's what they are) can be life or death situations and consumers should be alerted to watch out for these symptoms and given instructions on what to do when they arise. The ethical thing for Sergeants would be to list these reactions on the packaging (or as a package insert) but since the issue still isn't resolved I would love to see Wal-Mart look out for the furry members of our extended community and pull this product from it's shelves. I would appreciate some sort of response from your company addressing my concerns.

A Concerned Pet Owner
Altamonte Springs, FL

I don't know if I'm more ticked off that I seriously doubt that I will receive a response from either company and Sergeants will continue to poison other pets. Or that this could have been avoided... My dogs are on Sentinel so the fleas would have probably died within a few days but I didn't want them to suffer through bites in the meantime. I think the fleas were brought into the house by a friend's dog that I dog-sat a week ago. My instincts told me not to keep him but she swore that he had been completely checked out by a vet and had no problems. The final straw should have been when she was dropping him off and said that he wasn't fixed... now this chick knew that I got my female dog a couple of months ago and that she hasn't been fixed yet because she hasn't reached the minimum weight. I really try to be a good person but why do good deeds come back to bite you so often?


Anonymous said...

WTF??!!! How can they not list such huge side effects when so many other consumers are creating sites and blogs regarding their products? I really hope both companies respond to your email. When we get prescriptions they make sure every side effect possible is listed on the insert but for pets it's so much different.

I hope both of your puppies are back to normal very soon....

Allecia said...

That's really scary! Hopefully your quick actions prevented anything too severe from happening. Poor little guys.

S0uthernGirl said...

Hi Ladies,

Thanks for the well wishes.

I'm happy to report that both of them are back to being their normal, spoiled, attention hogging selves. When they got into a fight over doggie treats I knew they were ok. LOL Petyon always wolfs hers down and then tries to take Kennedy's. Sometimes he lets her but he wasn't having it today.

I also received an email from Wal-mart earlier today requesting additional information so I'll post an update once I hear back from them. I'm surprised that the response was so quick... I'm sure that they get a gazillion requests each day, but then again maybe not because we all know people who complain to everyone who will listen except for those with authority and power to change the situation

Anonymous said...

I'm am so happy to hear your puppies are back to normal..YAY!!!

natty said...

I have often wondered that same thing. I don't know why it always comes to bite you. I just know it definitely does!

Naturally Sophia said...

I am happy that you posted this and that your puppies are ok. I love my dog and feel sorry this happened to your pets.

July said...

Hi. I stumbled upon your blog as I was doing research on the Sergeant Gold flea medicine. I wanted to say that the same exact thing happened to my dog today, and I took her to the Animal ER. They called poison control and found out that it is the worst OTC flea medicine there is, and that it can even kill cats! My dog, Lola, was in pretty bad shape, but i washed her off with dawn too, and she seems to be feeling a little better. I am SOOOO angry and really wish something could be done. I cannot believe that such dangerous products are sold and no one is doing anything about it!!!!

CarmenNC said...

Ciara has been using Frontline Plus with no adverse reactions. (Like she goes buys it and puts it on like a body butter.) I am so sorry that happened to her and glad that she ok.

I'm glad WalMart got back to you quickly - I'm sure they don't want a law suit for a brand they sell. It's really not their fight, but if they get complaints from other users I'm sure they can get the company's attention more than you alone. I'm sure no company wants to be yanked off the selves of Walmart - that's like instant death.

CarmenNC said...

Oh it says January 12 not June 12th. Do you have any updates?

jmorey05 said...

The same thing happened to our dog but I didn't place the blame on the right thing. We had just moved into a new house and assumed along with the vet that he had gotten into something. Today my other dog started to act strange after getting her dose hopefully, wahing her will help.

Heather said...

I just wanted to comment and say that, yes, my dog suffered the same side effects. I have 2 dogs. We had just taken one to the vet for a fever that day, no big deal, just got some antibiotics. Well, that night we decided to put flea medication on them since it had been a couple of months. I usually use Advantix and have no problems but had boguht Sergeants Gold at Target since it was on sale. Not even an hour after applying it to my dogs, I started noticing that one of them (the one that had the fever) was not acting like his normal self. THe next day I noticed him licking and then he ran outside and started eating tons and tons of grass (I'm assuming to make himself sick or to get the taste out of his mouth) and he would not stop. I mean, he could have mowed the lawn he was eating so much! He was also running around the house restless. Finally I decided to hose him down and try to get the stuff (flea medication) off of him. He finally settled down but then the same thing happened a few hours later. Me and my husband decided to give him a bath and we used a special vet shampoo that we have and he seems a little better. Now after reading this, I'm going straight home and washing him again w/Dawn to make sure it's gone. IT didn't seem to affect my other dog, but I'm washing it off him too just to be on the safe side. He was also drooling a bit too when all this was happening.
The one that had the problems is a labradoodle. The one that didn't seem bothered is a goldendoodle. THIS PISSES ME OFF! Take it off the shelves for goodness sake!

S0uthernGirl said...

I'm so sorry to hear that others are going through this and I hope your furbabies are alright. Once they're back to normal be sure to follow up with the store chain where you purchased the products from. I would go to their website so that the complaint goes to a corporate office instead of stopping at the store level. If enough of us complain, maybe they'll get yanked from the shelves.

Getting your emails reminded me that I never heard back from Wal-mart after sending them the additional info so I'm going to try emailing a follow up email.

Janice said...

I put this stuff on my 3 dogs(chihuahua, pekingese and maltese) on july 4 at noon time by about 10 pm that night i had to rush my dogs to the Emergency Animal hospital! They were poisoned by this stuff. My poor lil babies couldnt sit still and were drooling and twitching all over the place and couldn't breath right, it was like there were on speed! Thier skin was burned and their eyes and ears were extremely red. They were exhausted because they couldn't sit still. The vet said it attacks their central nervous system. I bathed them several times with dish washing soap and the vet gave them a shot of muscle relaxer and sent them home with meds. Also i had to give them alot of water to drink to try and flush the toxins out of their bodies. If anybody reading this knows of any class action suit .....please let me know.......... this stuff needs to be taken off the market........janiceg007gmail.com

Sergeant Sufferer said...

Sergeant's Gold and SentryPro XFC "Allergic" Reaction and Deaths happen Daily see the below news report and websites with all the fellow Sergeant Reaction sufferers.

Been through it with two Pugs, it was like watching them die for three days straight. This is not a allergic reaction.

There is something wrong with their Sergeant Products and instead of taking it off the shelves the continue to make Pet Parents like You and I watch our pet children suffer.

Read more Sufferers Daily at the below sites:
News Report on TV



Sergeant knows there is something seriously wrong with their execution of releasing their products. Evidence is their financial investment in the campaign on how to “Read a Label.” No company would allocate money to run a campaign unless they were inspired by an overwhelming number of adverse reactions to their product.

Please log a complaint with the Consumer Affairs Site. It is easy and takes a second to record your experience. You will make a difference and possibly prevent this happening to another innocent being.

We need their Lawyers to be aware of the frequency and the severity of Sergeant’s Products Reactions. We need their help to get this product off the market.


Hardest part for me, Sergeant says they read our daily cases of suffering yet they will not take this product off the market. Instead they continue to collect financial profits off of innocent Pet Parent’s suffering.

These parents love their animals as if they were human beings. If this product was for the consumption of humans then the reactions would be considered cruelty and the deaths would be equal to murder.

Hard for me to know this tragic experience will happen to someone tomorrow. Hard for me not to be able to stop it.
Sergeant please Stop it. You Can.

A Sergeant’s Reaction Sufferer for Life

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Anonymous said...

Im truly sorry about your pets and hope they get better. Last night at 11:00 We had a reaction on both of our dogs and one out of our two cats. Its no uncommen allergic reaction. I conntacted them and they seemed to treat it as a typical call. I am going to conntact our local Bi-Mart and suggest removing it from their shelves.