For years, e-mails like the one here, have been making their way into people’s home and computers around the world starting like this: “I recently had a neighbor who had to have their 5-year old German Shepherd dog put down due to liver failure. The dog was completely healthy until a few weeks ago, so they had a necropsy done to see what the cause was. The liver levels were unbelievable, as if the dog had ingested poison of some kind. The dog is kept inside, and when he’s outside, someone’s with him, so the idea of him getting into something unknown was hard to believe. My neighbor started going through all the items in the house. When he got to the Swiffer Wetjet, he noticed, in very tiny print, a warning which stated “may be harmful to small children and animals.”
“He called the company to ask what the contents of the cleaning agent are and was astounded to find out that antifreeze is one of the ingredients. (actually he was told it’s a compound which is one molecule away from antifreeze).
“Therefore, just by the dog walking on the floor cleaned with the solution, then licking it’s own paws, and the dog eating from its dishes which were kept on the kitchen floor cleaned with this product, it ingested enough of the solution to destroy its liver.
“Soon after his dog’s death, his housekeepers’ two cats also died of liver failure. They both used the Swiffer Wetjet for quick cleanups on their floors. Necropsies weren’t done on the cats, so they couldn’t file a lawsuit, but he asked that we spread the word to as many people as possible so they don’t lose their animals.”
Of course, Urban Legend says this is a hoax, and immediately, everyone who originally sent this e-mail to everyone in their address book, had to become humble and send out a retraction, letting them know it’s a hoax.
But is it really a hoax? I believe otherwise!
Early in July, 2005, I got in one of my moods where I needed a change in cleaning methods, and with all the floors I have in my home, the Swiffer WetJet was just what I was looking for. So off to Walmart I went the next morning, and bought the starter kit, feeling all excited as I couldn’t wait to get home and wash my floors! Now really, who gets excited over washing floors? Well, for a few short hours, I was!
Later that afternoon, hours after the floors were dry, one of my Boxers, Zeus (8 yrs old at the time) had his first seizure ever! OMG!!! I thought my world had crumbled. Here’s a dog who’s been healthy his entire life, and out of the blue, a seizure? As I sat on the couch with him laying partially on my lap, comforting him through my tears, my mind was racing with thoughts of what could have caused him to have that seizure. As it hit me, my then 15-year-old son walked in the front door with Max (the baby Boxer of the family, then 1-1/2) and told me that Max, during their walk, just dropped on someone’s front lawn and had a seizure.
I knew I was right! It was the darn Swiffer WetJet that I had just used earlier in the day to wash my floors. It was the ONLY new product in the house! I got up off the couch, went into the closet, grabbed the demon and out in the trash it ALL went! I immediately rewashed the floors with my natural citrus cleaner, bucket and mop! Neither Zeus or Max EVER had a seizure since that day! Somehow, Alli (my 6 yr old female Boxer) managed to escape the chemical side effects.
So, is Urban Legends right, that this is just a hoax? If anyone reading this has a beloved pet, or knows someone whose pet experienced ANY negative side effect after having floors washed with the Swiffer WetJet, please share your experience with all our readers in the comments section below. Perhaps we can validate that this is NOT a hoax, and save the health and lives of more pets everywhere.