What is Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel)?
Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) is an oral deworming medication from Bayer that is used to kill and remove intestinal worms in dogs and puppies with a single dose. It has a broad range of activity and targets the four main types of worms that infect dogs and puppies: tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Drontal Plus is the market leader and the number one selling deworming product for dogs.1 It is considered the most complete, single-dose dewormer for dogs available on the market.
What are the active ingredients in Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel)?
Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) is an FDA-approved drug that combines three active ingredients, praziquantel, pyrantel pamoate and febantel, to safely and effectively remove common intestinal worms in dogs. These three ingredients each have a mode of action that enables Drontal Plus to kill nine different species of intestinal worms.
What forms and sizes of Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) are available for my dog?
Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) is available in two forms: Tablets and Taste Tabs. The tablets typically need to be administered with a pill pouch or wrapped in a type of food that your dog will readily eat. Drontal Plus Taste Tabs are formulated to provide a tasty treat-like experience through the flavor of beef. Please see the chart below to find the size and number of tablets that corresponds with your dog.
Is my dog at risk for intestinal worms? How can my dog become infected?
Have you ever seen your dog eat grass or roll around in the dirt? Does your dog go to the dog park and play with other dogs? Has your dog ever had fleas? These are factors that can put your pet at risk for acquiring intestinal worms. There are three basic ways your dog can become infected:
- From the environment: Intestinal worms shed lots and lots of tiny, microscopic eggs into the environment through an animal’s droppings. From there, the eggs are dispersed into the soil, on grass or even in water. Your dog can become infected when he inadvertently ingests these eggs. In addition to this, hookworms can also penetrate your dog’s skin if he happens to be walking or lying down in an area contaminated with them.
- From their mother: If a pregnant dog is infected, she can pass some types of worms to her puppies either before they are born or through her milk. This is why puppies are considered to be infected with worms and in need of a deworming protocol early in life. Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) can be given to puppies as young as three weeks of age. Talk to your veterinarian about finding the right dose and treatment schedule for your dog.
- From eating other infected animals: Rodents, rabbits, birds, and even insects (like fleas) eat parasite eggs too. However, these animals are known as secondary or intermediate hosts because the ingested eggs do not develop into adult worms but rather remain in a dormant intermediate stage. When a dog then consumes one of these critters (ever seen Fido chasing a rabbit?), the intermediate stage will wake up and grow into an adult worm where it will live in the dog’s intestines.
Are intestinal worms only a puppy problem?
The simple answer is no. Intestinal worms have been identified in every age category in dogs.
What are the common clinical signs of intestinal parasites in my dog?
Because the four types of worms that can cause harm to your dog are all different with their own unique lifecycles and feeding methods, there are a variety of signs that your dog may show if infected. The most common signs are typically diarrhea and vomiting. Weight loss, a bloated belly, coughing, and dehydration are also a possibility. Severe cases with heavy infections can result in death. It is important to note that many infected dogs will not show any signs at all. It is not uncommon for a veterinarian to identify parasite eggs on a routine fecal exam despite the dog appearing and behaving perfectly normal. This is why it is important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian at least once a year. Even though intestinal worms might not seem to be harming your pet at the moment, they might later on. In addition, just because your pet is not showing symptoms, does not mean the worms present are not actively shedding eggs into the environment, putting other pets and even you at risk.
How many times will I need to give Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) to my dog?
There is no set answer, and it depends on the unique situation of your dog, including his age, behavior, and environment. It is important to note that dogs infected with intestinal parasites often need a few rounds of deworming (this is especially important in puppies) to adequately clear out infections. This is because an infected dog will often harbor different life stages of worms, some of which will not be killed by the first dose. By deworming a few weeks later, the life stages that were not killed by the first treatment will have grown old enough to be killed by the second treatment. Your veterinarian can help provide you with an appropriate deworming strategy that best fits your dog’s needs.
Is there a time of year where my dog could be more at risk?
Your dog can be at risk of acquiring intestinal worms any time of the year. Many of the eggs that get released into the environment are very durable and can survive environmental extremes, often spanning several years. It is important as a dog owner to always be aware and on guard year-round. Warmer weather can especially increase the risk of your dog acquiring intestinal worms. This is because people tend to spend more time with their dogs outside and wildlife becomes more active, increasing the likelihood of spreading and dispersing eggs into the environment.
Is my dog able to pass worms to me? What about my children?
The answer is yes. The same roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms that can infect your dog can also infect you. If your dog has intestinal worms, there is a risk of you or other family members becoming infected. The most common way people can become infected with intestinal worms is through a contaminated environment. When microscopic eggs are passed in a pet’s feces, they disperse into the soil, grass and other areas where they can be picked up and accidentally ingested. In addition, immature hookworms can actually penetrate a person’s bare skin via close contact if stepped or laid on. See the preventive practices question for more information.
What are some preventative practices I can do to help protect my pets and family?
- Have your pet regularly seen by a veterinarian, including an annual fecal examination. Maintain an appropriate deworming schedule or monthly use of a flea and intestinal parasite preventive product.
- Practice good hygiene by washing hands regularly, especially after cleaning up pet waste or digging in the soil.
- Pick up your pet’s waste from your yard, the dog park, or other areas.
- Do not let children play in areas known to be common animal toileting areas.
- Make sure children are not barefoot or sitting on the ground in parks or sand that may be contaminated with animal feces or have high animal traffic.
- Cover up sandboxes when not using them.
Other dewormers are being compounded with the same or similar active ingredients as Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel). Are they the same product?
While compounded products may have similar active ingredients and claims as Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel), Drontal Plus is a unique, patented product approved by the FDA. Because of this, everything that goes into each Drontal Plus tablet or taste tab is carefully regulated and made under strict guidelines. In addition, Drontal Plus has undergone extensive safety, stability, and effectiveness testing to make sure that it is safe and effective for your dog. Compounded medications, on the other hand, are typically not subject to such rigorous guidelines and testing. If presented with a compounded deworming product featuring similar ingredients and claims to that of Drontal Plus, we encourage you to inquire if that product has undergone safety and stability testing as well as studies showing it to be effective in removing the parasites it is indicated for.