Rob Avery, D.V.M.: 2 ways to treat tapeworm
Special to The Union
Tapeworm medication is now available over-the-counter through farm and pet stores — however, there are two different medications for two different species of tapeworms.
Unless the public is aware of the difference, people could be treating their pets for the wrong tapeworm, thereby wasting their money and administering inappropriate medication.
Praziquantel and Fenbendazole are both medications that effectively treat tapeworms, but it’s important for people to know that Fenbendazole — a cheaper treatment more commonly known as Safe-Guard or Panacur — is effective against taenia pisiformis, the tapeworm found in rabbits and rodents.
As a veterinarian, I would instead recommend Praziquantel for the treatment of dipylidium caninum, the species of tapeworm you would find in your dog or cat.
I don’t usually shop for medications in local pets stores, but the inability to find Praziquantel was brought to my attention by a couple of clients, so I went shopping locally.
I found the Fenbendazole, rather than the Praziquantel, and brought it to the attention of the staff at Incredible Pets. They were grateful to learn the difference between the medications and promised to inform their purchasing manager.
Tapeworms are caused by the ingestion of fleas or canine chewing lice.
The best approach to treating tapeworms is simply avoiding them altogether by preventing fleas.
There are many products on the market to help eradicate or prevent flea problems.
Your veterinarian can discuss with you products that best fit your pet’s lifestyle and your budget.
For the Love of Pets Veterinary Hospital is owned by Rob and Inger Avery. They are located at 561 Idaho-Maryland Road, Grass Valley, 530-477-5683
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