Parasitic worms plague pets of all kinds. The severity of any infestation depends on both your pet and the worms that threaten his or her health. Some worms cause symptoms that are only mildly uncomfortable while others can pose serious health risks. Roundworms, tapeworms, and heartworms each infect different parts of your pet and the differences in their biology mean that they have different vulnerabilities. Because not all worms are created equal, different infestations require different treatments.
These treatments use different methods of action to ensure their efficacy, meaning that some dewormers will work more quickly than others. Further variety is available because multiple formulas can effectively treat the same types of worms with different active ingredients. The rest of this article will discuss some of the more popular treatments for worms that commonly affect cats and the typical administration period of these products.
Treat YOUR Pet's Worms
When a cat is suffering from an apparent illness, it’s important to seek out treatment quickly; however, it is crucial to identify the source of an infestation before attempting to treat it. Firstly, only cats that are confirmed to have worms should undergo the deworming process, as the poison used for killing worms can negatively affect your cat. Additionally, the type of worm affecting your cat should properly identified before you or your veterinarian try to treat it.
Roundworms and tapeworms can be dealt with using non-prescription treatments. Tapeworms can be treated with Tapeworm Tabs, which use an anthelmintic called praziquantel. These tabs require only a single administration to start working and effectively eliminate tapeworms within three weeks; although, some cats may require another 2-3 week period of treatment.
SENTRY Worm Away for Cats uses magnesium stearate to kill any roundworms present in your cat's system. These capsules should also work over a period of 2-3 weeks, with the slight possibility of requiring re-treatment. Another product, Excel Roundworm De-Wormer works to the same end with piperazine as its central ingredient. Though this treatment takes the same amount of time to work as SENTRY Worm Away, its different method of action makes it a viable alternative for cats that cannot take magnesium stearate.
Allergies or other medical information provided by your veterinarian can make one treatment more effective for your cat. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation to help determine which treatments are right for you and your pet. Most dewormers will fall in line with those mentioned in this article, requiring an initial period of only 2-3 weeks to eliminate worms; however, some treatments will also require a second dosage to eradicate a second wave of parasites.
Aside from roundworms and tapeworms- other parasitic worms can pose a more serious threat. Heartworms, for example, can only be treated with a prescription medication. Just like with non-prescription medications, you should ask your veterinarian if they have any specific recommendations for your pet when selecting prescription dewormers. Has your pet ever had worms? Which treatment worked for you and how long did it take? Leave your answers in the comments and let us know!