Internal parasites can cause all kinds of health issues for your little kitten. To get rid of these pests, your vet will prescribe a medication to kill the parasites. Two such medications are Panacur and Drontal, both of which are safe to use with our little furry friends.
Panacur is a type of anthelmintic drug that is used to get rid of gastrointestinal, bronchial and lung parasites, according to PetPlace.com. The active ingredient in Panacur is fenbendazole, a chemical that kills roundworms, some types of tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms, among others. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved fenbendazole for use in dogs, but not for use in cats or kittens, although your vet might prescribe it for off-label use in your little one. You can administer Panacur tablets or powder to your little kitty as young as 2 weeks old, according to the manufacturer, MSD Animal Health. Because this drug comes in powder or paste form for kittens, which you can mix with her food, you might want to wait until she's eating solid foods at 3 to 4 weeks old before giving the drug to her.
Drontal, like Panacur, also is a type of anthelmintic drug used against intestinal parasites. The active ingredients in Drontal are praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate. The combination of these two chemicals kills different types of tapeworms, hookworms and large roundworms, according to the manufacturer Bayer HealthCare. Drontal tablets are approved by the FDA for use in our feline friends. Use Drontal only if your kitten is older than 2 months of age and weighs more than 2 pounds, recommends the FDA. Consult with your vet regarding the dosage of this medicine.
What's the Difference?
The main difference between Drontal and Panacur is the types of parasites each drug kills. Panacur kills a wider variety of these pesky invaders than does Drontal, including giardia and threadworms, also called strongyloides, according to VetInfo. While Panacur does kill tapeworms, it kills only those of the Taenia species and not Dipylidium caninum, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. Drontal does kill all types of tapeworms with its combination of ingredients. Panacur can be used in very young kittens, around 3 weeks old, while Drontal can only be used in those older than 2 months. Depending on your little one's age and the type of parasite she's dealing with will determine which one is best for your particular kitty's case.
Your vet will prescribe a deworming medication for your little kitten as she grows up, usually given at intervals of two weeks, starting at 3 weeks of age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends worming your furry buddy at 3, 5, 7 and 9 weeks of age, followed by monthly dosage of worming medication until she reaches 6 months old. Whether your vet prescribes either Drontal or Panacur for her worming will depend on her age, weight and the type of worms she is diagnosed with. After giving your little one the worming medication of any kind, she might experience some mild nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If her symptoms continue for more than a day, contact your vet.
To kill off the worms and other parasites in your little kitty's system effectively, you need to give Panacur to her for at least three days in a row. Some types of parasites might require dosing for up to seven days straight to rid your little one's body of them fully. On the other hand, you usually give your kitty Drontal in a single dose, although it might have to be repeated for roundworms or hookworms, as your vet recommends, according to the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program. Depending on which of these drugs your vet prescribes, follow his directions carefully and don't give more or less than the amounts he recommends. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.
- Pet Place: Fenbendazole (Panacur)
- Pet Place: Praziquantel (Droncit, Drontal)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Drontal Tablets
- Bayer HealthCare: Drontal -- Product Information
- Companion Animal Parasite Council: Intestinal Parasites -- Giardia
- VetInfo: Treating Tapeworm in Cats with Fenbendazole (Panacur)
- VetInfo: Cat Roundworm Treatment With Drontal
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Guidelines for Veterinarians -- Prevention of Zoonotic Transmission of Ascarids and Hookworms
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.