All pets can suffer from parasites, and prompt treatment with medicine designed to eliminate specific parasites is the best way to get your pet back to health. Treating parasite infestations can require extensive treatment at times. External parasites are generally easier to treat, but internal ones present a bigger challenge.
Concerning internal parasites, Panacur is commonly used to treat various parasites in dogs and cats. While the side effects are mild and rare, you should always use Panacur with the guidance of a veterinarian.
What Is Panacur?
Fenbendazole, which is available as Panacur or Safe-Guard, belongs to the anthelmintics class of drugs. This class of drugs is responsible for killing internal parasites in cats and dogs. Other drugs can serve the same purpose, but Panacur is very effective and has few side effects. It is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. However, you should use it carefully according to your veterinarian’s guidelines.
Forms of Panacur
Fenbendazole is available in two forms: oral granules or a liquid suspension administered orally. According to VCA Hospitals, you must measure the liquid form carefully.
How To Give Your Pet Panacur
Your veterinarian can guide you on how to give your pet Panacur. It is best to mix it with your pet’s food to reduce the risk of digestive upset. Generally, veterinarians recommend you give a single dose daily for three consecutive days and then again 2-3 weeks later. As with any other medication, your pet should receive all doses on time for Panacur to take effect. Stopping too early or skipping doses can prolong treatment or lead to reinfection.
Side Effects of Panacur
According to VCA Hospitals, Panacur has no side effects at regular doses. The drug is safe for cats and rarely produces side effects. If your cat has any side effects, they will be mild and limited to diarrhea and vomiting. Panacur is not labeled for use in cats, so you must follow your veterinarian’s directions carefully.
Is Panacur Safe For Cats?
Panacur is perfectly safe for cats and studies have depicted no adverse reactions. However, you should follow your veterinarian’s guidelines carefully. At higher doses than recommended, Panacur can lead to an allergic reaction. If your cat shows symptoms such as itching, hives, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate care.
Some cats may be sensitive or allergic to Fenbendazole, making other medications a better option. At times, the death of the parasites in the gastrointestinal tract can also cause an allergic reaction. You should carefully monitor your cat and follow your veterinarian’s guidelines.
Uses Of Panacur
Panacur kills a variety of parasites, including ones present in the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and bronchial tree. Some of the parasites that Panacur can treat include:
Roundworms are a common gastrointestinal parasite in cats. All cats suffer from roundworms at some point in their lives, mostly as kittens. These are large and round-shaped worms that float freely within the intestines. Most adult cats do not show serious symptoms when infected with roundworms, but kittens and weak senior cats can develop severe symptoms. The common symptoms of roundworm infection include a rounded belly, low appetite, poor coat quality, digestive issues, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Whipworms are not as common in cats as they are in dogs. These worms can live anywhere from a few months to a few years in soil, food, water, feces, and animal flesh. Cats usually contract whipworms by ingesting infected matter or from other animals. A whipworm infection can occur at any age. The common symptoms of whipworm infection include bowel inflammation, dehydration, anemia, weight loss, and bloody diarrhea.
Hookworms are intestinal parasites affecting both dogs and cats. They attach themselves to the intestinal wall lining through hook-shaped mouthparts and feed on the blood and tissue of the infected host. Hookworms appear in dogs more often than in cats. These worms are too small to be visible to the naked eye.
Hookworms thrive in moist environments with poor sanitation. Most cats contract hookworms when grooming their feet after using their litter. Symptoms of hookworm infection include anemia, black or tarry stool, poor coat quality, and weight loss.
Two main types of Tapeworms affect cats: Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis. Panacur is only effective against the Taenia species of tapeworms. Cats contract these tapeworms through ingesting infected mice or rats. Tapeworms are not very harmful to cats and cause a mild infection with few clinical signs. Veterinarians can detect tapeworms through fecal examination. If your cat is infected with the Taenia species, your veterinarian will prescribe Panacur for treatment.
Strongyloidiasis is a rare intestinal infection caused by the parasite Strongyloides tumefaciens. Cats can contract the parasite through ingestion of infected matter. The parasite thrives in humid environments with poor sanitation, like kennels. It can present some difficulty in diagnosis because symptoms are similar to other parasites. The symptoms of Strongyloidiasis include skin inflammation, cough, diarrhea, bloody stool, or mucus in stool.
Panacur is effective against the two parasites that affect the lungs of cats, including Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Paragonimus kellicotti.
Aelurostrongylus abstrusus commonly affects cats around the world. Cats that are allowed to hunt usually contract this parasite. It lives in wild mice, rodents, frogs, toads, snakes, lizards, and small birds. Since most cats hunt these animals, they can contract the parasite easily.
The best way to prevent your cat from acquiring this parasite is by supervising outdoor time and limiting interaction with potential hosts. Symptoms of infection mimic other diseases such as pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and asthma. A fecal examination is the only way to confirm your cat’s infection.
Paragonimus kellicotti, also known as the North American lung fluke, is a parasite that lays eggs in cat lungs. Cats usually develop an infection after consuming raw crayfish or rodents that feed on crayfish.
The parasite lays eggs in the lungs, which leads to coughing and difficulty breathing. Mild infections show little to no symptoms, but severe infections can cause damage to the lungs. As with other parasites, veterinarians conduct fecal examination. However, samples undergo special processing for a definitive diagnosis.
Giardiasis is an intestinal infection caused by Giardia, a single-celled parasite. There are several forms of Giardia and genotype F affects cats. Giardiasis is common in cats but rarely recognized or diagnosed due to the absence of clinical signs. The Giardia parasite attaches itself to the intestinal wall and feeds on the tissue and blood of the host. The infection is rare in healthy adult cats but kittens and debilitated seniors can suffer from the disease. Giardiasis has symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss, and recurrent bouts of diarrhea. Infected cats usually have soft or watery stool that contains blood.
Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease caused by the single-celled Coccidia parasite. The parasite causes symptoms such as diarrhea and lives in the intestinal tract. Coccidia infection is common and life-threatening in kittens. Due to their underdeveloped immune system, the parasite reproduces in large numbers after infecting them. Most healthy adult cats show no clinical signs of a coccidia infection. However, kittens and weak senior cats can suffer from diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, and vomiting. Coccidiosis can spread rapidly if the infected animal is not isolated.
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
Feline Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) is a painful condition involving chronic gastrointestinal inflammation. While the causes of IBD are not fully certain, allergies, weak immunity, and bacterial and parasitic infections are common in cats suffering from the disease. Common symptoms of IBD include persistent diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stool, and weight loss. Diagnosing the condition can be tricky, but the surest way is a gastrointestinal biopsy. Some veterinarians prescribe Panacur to treat IBD. Cats with IBD can safely take Panacur until a definitive diagnosis.