Drontal is a popular worming medication used for dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens. There are actually three different products in the Drontal “line” of broad spectrum dewormers including Droncit, Drontal, and Drontal Plus. All medications are manufactured by Bayer. In the veterinary literature Drontal tablets as well as other worming medications are referred to as “anthelmintics.” This is just a geek’s way of saying “dewormer.”
Droncit contains the active ingredient praziquantel which is indicated for the treatment of tapeworm infections in dogs and cats. It works against both types of tapeworms: Dipylidium caninum, which requires a flea intermediate host to develop, and Taenia taeniaeformis, which requires a small mammal (rabbit, mouse, etc.) intermediate host. Droncit is available as a tablet or injectable medication.
Drontal tablets contain two active ingredients: praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate. Pyrantel pamoate will remove hookworms and roundworms. Drontal is usually sold only for cats and kittens because they typically don’t become infected with whipworms which is the third ingredient available in Drontal Plus worming tablets for dogs. Drontal worming tablets generally aren’t recommended for kittens less than one month of age or weighing less than 1.5 pounds.
As stated previously, in addition to praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate, Drontal Plus contains a third active ingredient: febantel. Febantel is active against nematode parasites including whipworms. Because whipworms in cats is very rare in the United States, Drontal Plus is manufactured only for dogs.
Depending on the type of parasite(s) your pet has, more than one deworming treatment may be necessary. However, one dose of praziquantel is typically all that is needed to treat a tapeworm infection. Although, tapeworms transmitted by fleas will likely recur unless measures are taken to control fleas in the pet’s environment. Also, if allowed to hunt and eat infected rodents, cats and dogs will continue to be infected with tapeworms and other intestinal parasites.
Cats are usually more at risk for tapeworm infection because of their fastidious grooming habits. Feline Drontal and Canine Drontal Plus worming tablets can be rather expensive because of their broad spectrum deworming ability. Besides heartworm, it seems like Drontal Plus kills just about any parasite under the sun. Droncit, Drontal, and Drontal Plus are only available with a prescription by your veterinarian. There is a generic tablet containing praziquantel available for cats but I don’t have personal experience with the product. If anyone has used this product please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
In general, I would steer clear of any OTC dewormer even if the label states it kills tapeworms. The problem with a lot of these tapeworm medications is that they only kill certain stages of the tapeworm and do not completely eradicate the parasite from your pet. The tapeworms will still have the ability to reproduce even after giving them the medication. If your pet is infected with tapeworms I would stick with praziquantel and nothing else otherwise you’re just throwing your money out the window!