A Guide to Tapeworm Medication for Cats

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This guide will better inform you on tapeworm medication for cats. Tapeworms, also called cestodes, are internal parasites that attach themselves to the wall of your cats intestines. Dipylidium is the most common tapeworm of cats and is spread by fleas. Taenia and Echinococcusare less common tapeworms and are spread by ingesting the host that is carrying the tapeworm. These medications are beneficial in the elimination of tapeworms.

Praziquantel

Praziquantel is the active ingredient in deworming medications for tapeworms. The function of praziquantel is to act on the system of the tapeworm so that it will dislocate from the wall of the intestines and is then passed into the feces. You may or my not see dead tapeworms in your cats stool. Praziquantel is available in a combination with other drugs for the treatment of a wide range of internal parasites. These deworming medications are prescription only and are available at your veterinarians office.

  • Droncit - Droncit is available in a tablet form and as an injection. The active ingredient is praziquantel and is used for the removal of tapeworms.
  • Drontal - Drontal is available only as a tablet form. The active ingredients are pyrantel pamaote and praziquantel. This medication is used for the removal of heartworms, roundworms and certain tapeworms.
  • Drontal Plus - Drontal Plus is available in a tablet form. The active ingredients are pyrantel pamaote, febantel and praziquantel and is used for the removal of heartworms, roundworms, whipworms and certain tapeworms.
  • Profender - Profender is a topical deworming medication that is applied between your cats shoulder blades. The active ingredients are emodepside and praziquantel. This is used for the removal of heartworms, roundworms, whipworms and certain tapeworms.
  • Milbemax - Milbemax is available in a tablet form. The active ingredient is milbemycin and praziquantel. This drug is used in the removal of heartworm, roundworm, whipworm and certain tapeworms.

Side Effects of Praziquantel

Side effects of praziquantel are uncommon but include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and loss of appetite. If injection is given your cat may experience pain, swelling or stinging at the injection site. Praziquantel tablets are bitter tasting and may cause excessive salivation. These symptoms are temporary and should resolve on its own.

Praziquantel is not to be used on kittens under 4 weeks of age. Do not use if your cat has a known allergy to this drug. If your cat is pregnant, unhealthy or old you should first consult with your veterinarian. Although beneficial in the removal of tapeworms, praziquantel should be given with veterinarian supervision should a reaction occur.

Treatment with Praziquantel

If you are unsure what type of parasite your cat has, take a stool sample to your veterinarian so they can properly treat your cat. One dose should treat a tapeworm infestation, but a second dose may be necessary depending on the severity, response or side effects. Make sure that your cat finishes the entire deworming treatment. Prevention of tapeworm reinfection can be accomplished by applying flea treatment to your cat. Thorough cleaning of your cats environment will get rid of any fleas, eggs and larvae.


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