Drontal for Cats

Written by elizabeth tumbarello
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Drontal for Cats
(Pearson Scott Foresman, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cat_(Siamese)_(PSF).jpg)

Parasites are the bane of a pet owner's existence. They can be costly to treat, require multiple vet visits to diagnose and clear up, and medication is often prescription only. Drontal, an over-the-counter de-wormer, is a cost-effective solution for cat owners who know what parasites a cat has and wish to treat their pets without the hassle or cost.

What is Drontal?

Drontal is a class of drugs known as a "broad spectrum" de-wormer. It comes in two forms, one for cats and one for dogs. Both types of Drontal are in tablet form, and are manufactured by Bayer Health. The drug is approved by the FDA for over the counter use in cats. Drontal is a mixture of two different drugs, praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate, which eliminates three different types of parasites from felines. Tapeworms in both forms (Dipylidium caninum, Taenia taeniaeformis), large roundworms (Toxocara cati) and hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme) are all treated by the drug. Each scored tablet contains 18.2 mg of praziquantel, a drug to eliminate tapeworms and 72.6 mg of pyrantel pamoate, which works to rid the cat of other parasites

When to Use Drontal

If your cat is exhibiting signs of two or more parasites that Drontal can treat, Drontal may be an ideal option. Although a fecal examination by a licensed veterinarian is always recommended if there are any indications of health problems, the parasites that Drontal treats are easily identifiable to those who have owned cats and know what to look for. For those who have prior knowledge on the subject, Drontal is a way to avoid veterinary fees associated with treating the cat or cats who may need to be de-wormed.

When Not to Use Drontal

If a kitten is younger than 1 month old, or weighs less than 0.68 Kilogram, Drontal is not recommended. If the cat is nursing, Drontal may pass through the mother's body into those of the kittens. Sick or immune compromised cats should only be given Drontal under the supervision of a licensed animal care provider.

Side Effects and Safety

The makers of Drontal indicate that excessive thirst or salivation may occur in animals that are given Drontal. Vomiting, though rare, also occurs in some instances. More serious side effects, such as dizziness, trouble breathing and loss of appetite may indicate a drug interaction and the animal treated with Drontal should be given emergency vet care immediately. In safety tests performed by Bayer, cats that were given 10 times the recommended dose showed few, if any side effects. In this study, 85 cats were given a higher dose, and only two showed adverse side effects, including a loss of appetite and diarrhoea

Is Drontal Effective?

Laboratory tests performed on cats who acquired the parasites by natural means indicated that 98 per cent of the cats studied were rid of tapeworms within seven days. The test was also independently administered to feline patients by several veterinarians, who concluded the same was true.

How to Avoid Reinfestation

While Drontal is effective, the best way to treat cats when parasites are concerned is to prevent them. Drontal treats several different types of worms, and avoiding the key causes of those worms are a key part of treatment. Tapeworms are commonly caused by fleas. Treatment of the cat, as well as its environment, for fleas is recommended. Tapeworms can also be transmitted when cats eat infected rodents or other small animals. A cat's exposure to wild animals should be limited, if possible. Hookworms and roundworms are acquired through interaction with the eggs and larvae of the parasites. Litter boxes should be cleaned daily and there should be more frequent maintenance of litter boxes if there is more than one cat in the household. Roundworms, like tapeworms, can be acquired by cats eating infected rodents and exposure to this should be limited, if possible.

Should You Treat On a Regular Basis?

Your cat should be treated with Drontal regularly if it is exposed to conditions that put it at risk for parasitic infections, such as being an outdoor only cat, a barn mouser, or housed with other cats. Most vets recommend treating an adult cat with Drontal every three months for parasitic infections. Kittens should be wormed at 6 to 12 weeks of age, and females should be wormed before breeding. Pregnant cats should be wormed 10 days before the birth of kittens, and at both 2 and 4 weeks after giving birth.

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