A few years back when my cat ate dog dewormer, it was quite an unsettling experience for me, Luckily, it didn’t consume much and nothing important was affected.
Cats are usually curious beings and while they scan the entire house, they could get into trouble by interacting with what isn’t suitable for them, like when my cat got trapped in a recliner.
We could be uncharacteristically carefree sometimes, forgetting to safely store or thrash a few things that can be harmful to our pets at home such as medicine like Gravol, or treats like lemon pepper chicken, which stress from the day’s work and other responsibilities or emotional burdens could cause.
However, it is good to note that dog dewormers are not suitable for cats for numerous reasons of which first, dogs and cats are usually infected by different types of worms. Shortly, we will be discussing the other reasons why it is not good for your cat to eat or be given deworming medicines meant for dogs, and what you can do afterward to prevent any major problems.
Can You Use Dog Dewormer On Cats
We have numerous brands sold over the counter that advertise under the premise that; “Their drugs could be used for both cats and dogs.” This may seem cost-effective, but it is hardly a good choice.
Active ingredients in worm medicine such as praziquantel may be found in all these worm medicines, but that doesn’t automatically make them all suitable.
Your dog might have been having roundworm, and your cat may be having tapeworm(worms that look like rice in cat stools), now, using a medicine that is more effective against roundworm may not effectively deal with the tapeworm that is disturbing your cat.
Also, some dewormers can be safely administered to both dogs and cats, but the two pets usually require different dosages, your cat could overdose when you administer the dosage of dogs to it.
There is also the risk of toxicity when using a dog’s dewormer on a cat as they are two different species and require different treatments. You may notice lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, seizures, and diarrhea, and in rare cases, it could lead to fatality.
Is Cat Dewormer The Same As Dog Wormer
Not all cat dewormers and dog wormers are identical. Although cats and dogs may experience similar types of worms, their biology and metabolism differ, which results in variations in the formulations of deworming medications.
Deworming products for cats are specially made with the use of one or a combination of ( eprinomectin, praziquantel, piperazine, and others) to address the specific types of worms that are commonly found in felines, like roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
These treatments come in various forms such as oral tablets, liquids, or topical applications. The dosage of these medications depends on the weight and overall health of the cat.
Also, worm medications designed for dogs are specifically formulated with(Pyrantel Pamoate, piperazine, fenbendazole, ivermectin, praziquantel, or a combination of a number of them) to target the worms commonly found in canines, including heartworms, roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms. It is important to note that using a dog wormer on a cat or vice versa can be risky or ineffective since the dosages and ingredients may not be suitable for the other species as stated earlier.
Before giving your pets any deworming treatment, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian for the sake of their health and safety. A vet can accurately diagnose the specific type of worms your pet may have and recommend the most suitable dewormer to ensure effective treatment while minimizing the risk of any unwanted side effects.
My Cat Ate Dog Dewormer – What will happen?
Before you start panicking and worrying that your cat ate dog dewormer, or you gave them the dewormers and you’re anxious to know what will happen. Well, not much apart from vomiting and diarrhea may happen, as your cat may not have likely overdosed.
To understand when the drugs could bring about an adverse effect, we need to know what milligrams of each active ingredient in dog dewormers that are toxic to cats. This will help you decide on the next action to take.
Pyrantel Pamoate Is not approved by FDA for cats, but it is used as an off-label drug in treating worms in cats. For kittens between 2 and 8 weeks old, the recommended dose is typically around 5 milligrams per pound. As for cats older than 8 weeks, the usual dosage is approximately 10 milligrams per pound.
For Piperazine, “single oral dosages of less than 110 mg/kg in dogs and cats can already result in mild drug reactions; doses greater than 800 mg/kg can result in neurotoxic symptoms”. According to Parasitepedia. Piperazine dosage for cats ranges from 25 to 50 mg per pound.
Praziquantel’s dosage for cats is 12mg/kg. Anything beyond that will likely spur toxicity in your cat.
Ivermectin’s lethal dose for cats is between 100 and 2,500 ng/kg (0.1 to 2.5 mg/kg).
As a stand-alone, most of these drugs will be used in the milligram described above, while in combination, they may be used in lesser milligrams which may not be able to trigger toxicity in small amounts, your cat will have to surpass the advised milligram above before they experience toxicity.
What should I do?
If your cat accidentally ingested lots of dog dewormer, the very first course of action is to avoid panicking, you need to be as coordinated as much as possible so you could provide adequate information to your vet.
Contact your vet
The vet will quiz and advise you better on if the cat should be brought over or if there are things you could do at home to resolve any serious symptoms. Usually, you might be asked to use activated charcoal for decontamination.
Will Dog Dewormer Hurt A Cat? – Final Thoughts
Dog dewormer may seem like a quick fix for your cat worm, but a lot of things could go wrong as the active ingredient in that particular product may be only suited to resolve certain worm conditions in dogs.
Whether accidentally consumed, or you gave your cat some, dog dewormer can hurt your cat and cause them to suffer if they consume beyond the amount their system could contain and work with.
Ensure to store safely, and if any case you were not able to store safely, and your curious cat got to eat some, try and gauge the amount eaten, then inform your vet of what happened and they will be able to ascertain if it was an overdose or not, depending on the brand involved.