How Much Does Tapeworm Medication Cost?

Written by: Staff

Tapeworms, worms that live off of the intestines or tissues of many mammals, makes it home in the intestinal tract and are most commonly found in cats and dogs.  Worm segments, which contain the eggs, will be passed through the stool, leaving the tapeworm head attached in the intestinal tract, being able to continue to produce segments if not taken care of.

On average, a tapeworm can measure more than 35 feet long, and common signs of tapeworm include weight loss, diarrhea, blood-tinged stool, scooting, a loss of appetite and/or the feeling of weakness.  While a vet’s office can help assist with this issue, many pet owners tend to try over the counter medication first to see if it can resolve the problem.

The cost of tapeworm medication is going to depend on the brand, the quantity and where you purchase it from.

Dog Cat by mizuo_fiat, on Flickr
Dog Cat” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by mizuo_fiat

How much does tapeworm medication cost?

Tapeworm medication packages generally come with three or six capsules.  The medication can also come in a liquid form.  On average, over the counter medication is going to cost anywhere from $8 to $40.  Per pill, the medicine can cost anywhere from $3 to $10, depending on the brand.  These are all over the counter medications and won’t be guaranteed to work.  The most common medications and brands are listed in the table below.

For example, a popular product online for cats known as Tape Worm Tabs by Tradwinds retails for $11 to $18.  A liquid-based tapeworm medication, such as Native Remedies Worm by Native Remedies, retails for $25 to $39.

Prescribed medication from the vet’s office can vary anywhere from $60 to $125, not including the vet examination and fecal testing.  If going the vet route, you may have to come back to two to three times for additional treatments.  Vets have found that repeating injections or medication will likely break the re-infection cycle.

For example, the popular online pet pharmacy sells its Tape Worm Tabs that retail for $17 to $21 for three tablets.

BrandPrice Range
Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats$20 for 3 tablets
Droncit for Cats$3 to $7 per tablet
Excel Roundworm Liquid Cat De-Wormer$5 for 4 ounces
Fenbendazole for Cats$8 to $14 per 50 tabs
Generic Praziquantel for Cats (various brands)$5 to $8 per tablet
Homeopet Feline Tapeworm Clear Drops$12 for 450 drops
Homeopet WRM Clear$9 per 15mL
Nutramax Cosequin Capsules$80 for 80 drops
Panacur for Cats$7 to $10 per dose
Prolabs Feline Tapeworm Tabs$85 for 3 tablets
TradeWinds Tape Worm Tabs$85 for 3 tablets
BrandPrice Range
Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer for Dogs$25 for 5 tablets
Droncit for Cats$3 to $7 per tablet
Fenbendazole for Dogs$11 to $19 per three day treatment
Generic Praziquantel for Dogs (various brands)$5 to $7 per tablet
Panacur Canine Dewormer$10 for 2 grams
Prosense Roundworm Liquid Dewormer$4 to $12 per 4 ounces
Pyrantel Pamoate for Dogs$15 per 16 fluid ounces
Safe Guard Canine Dewormer for Large Dogs$12 for 4 grams

Tapeworm medication overview

If you were to take an animal to the vet office, they will test the pet’s stool using a microscope to see if any segments were found.  While segments won’t always be found using a microscope, fresh stool that’s white could mean a tapeworm is present.  Since tapeworms are passed intermittently, there may not any near the surface of the stool sample, and for this reason, the vet may have to collect a fresh batch at the office.

Tapeworms are caused by fleas on your pet’s body, and this medication will dissolve the parasite within the intestinal tract.  These tapeworms will attach itself to the inner wall of the intestine and will feed off the food from the host’s body.  Pets that catch fleas are often the most susceptible to getting tapeworms.  The most common types found on the market is praziquantel or fenbendazole, also referred to as Panacur.   Praziquantel, the common option will dissolve as it passes through the intestines, killing the host.  The dosage will be determined by the number of tablets per body weight, and pregnant animals won’t be able to use the medication.  A cat that weight less than 11 pounds will need 1 tablet, while a cat weighing more than 12 pounds will need two capsules.  As for dogs, any dog weighing more than four pounds will need one capsule and dogs weighing more than this will need two capsules. This medication shouldn’t cause any side effects.

Fenbendazole, a medication prescribed by vets, will interrupt the parasites’ cellular transport and metabolism, diminishing its energy, limiting the ability to eliminate waste and product protective factors from their cells.

Most tablets are either going to be taken orally or it can be sprinkled on food.  This is going to all depend on the pet’s preference.  Some pets will eat it with no problem while some have to have it hidden within the food.  One good trick is to wrap the medication in something such as cheese.

How long does it take for dewormer to work?  Typically, if the medication is administered according to the instructions, it can take 24 to 48 hours to become effective.

What are the extra costs?

If a professional checkup shows more problems than the tapeworm, additional tests and medicines may be prescribed.  Note that some over the counter medications will not work for some animals.  If you are not seeing results within 24 hours, then it is always best to check with a professional.

Flea control is highly recommended, even when the tapeworms disappear to prevent these tapeworms from coming back.  Over the counter flea treatment options often cost about $50 per month.

Tips to know

When purchasing tapeworm medication, make sure praziquantel is present.  This type of ingredient helps kill off the tapeworms that are in the pet’s body, but there is no guarantee.  In fact, some vets have noticed that even if praziquantel is present, there’s no guarantee all tapeworms will be killed.

Do over the counter dewormers work? Over the counter medication does not always work, especially if the directions aren’t followed specifically, and some doctors state that they may even do more harm than good.  While there are fantastic reviews on some of the products available online, it is essential that you read the directions before administrating the pill.  The only true way to get rid of, and prevent tapeworms, is by preventing fleas in the first place.

While tapeworms look disgusting, most of the time, it won’t be harmful to your pet’s health.  Tapeworms, as mentioned above, are usually due to fleas.

Follow your vet’s instructions closely because failure to do so can often bring the fleas/tapeworm back.

How can I save money?

It may be best to visit the vet’s office before wasting money on OTC products that have not been researched.  Most vets will tell you it’s not a good idea to offer your pet medication, even if you think you know what’s wrong.

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