Fenbendazole, marketed under the brand name Panacur, is a common anthelmintic -- or dewormer -- for cats, dogs, horses and other animals. Panacur is available in tablets and liquid suspensions, but the liquid form is arguably easier to give to most felines. While Panacur liquid suspension is available over the counter, always consult your veterinarian before treating your cat.
Panacur: What it Eradicates
Your vet might use or recommend Panacur to eradicate roundworms, or ascarids, hookworms, lungworms and the protozoal infection giardia. Panacur can get rid of one type of tapeworm, Taenia taeniaeformis, which cats pick up from consuming rodents. However, the telltale rice-like particles on the cat's rear end are similar to a more common tapeworm that's not responsive to Panacur. It's important to deworm your pet regularly to keep parasites at bay. Kittens often have worms, picked up while in utero or through infected mother's milk. Cats pick up worms from eating infected prey or exposure to an infected feline's feces. Signs of worms include diarrhea; a "potbellied" appearance, especially in kittens; worms in feces; vomiting and weight loss. Cats with lungworm might cough or experience breathing problems.
Deworming with Panacur
Most cats require several consecutive days of dosing with Panacur to get rid of parasites. If your cat or kitten carries a particularly heavy worm load, your vet might recommend further dosing in a few weeks. Shake the bottle well before drawing out the correct amount of medication with a dropper. Open the cat's mouth, stick the dropper in and squeeze. After administration, you might notice dead worms in the litter box. That's a good thing -- better out than in.
Panacur Side Effects
Panacur is well-tolerated by most felines, and is safe for use in pregnant and nursing females and kittens. A cat might throw up after receiving the drug. A feline with a particularly high worm load might suffer an allergic reaction, but that's not a reaction to the drug itself. Instead, it's a reaction to significant numbers of parasites dying within him and releasing toxins, or antigens. Call your vet if your cat appears sick after Panacur administration.
It's important to weigh the cat or kitten carefully to ascertain the correct dosage for the animal. If you've given too much liquid Panacur to your pet, call the vet but don't panic. Panacur has a large safety margin and overdosing usually won't harm the cat, unless it's an unusually large amount. Wear gloves when handling the bottle and administering Panacur to the cat. Avoid getting the medication on your skin, and wash your hands after use -- even if you wore gloves.