Friday, November 22, 2013

Prolabs Cat Tape Worm Tabs Warning

I write a lot about our dogs. I really should include a bit about our cats too. And I know a lot of you boaters have pets aboard.

Meet Sassy and Leo Pard. Sassy is scowling at Leo, who is wearing the sweater.

Sassy belonged to a good friend of ours in Norwalk. She got into a situation where she couldn't keep Sassy in her apartment, and Sassy was stuck living in a crate at the vet's office where she works. We were overrun with mice in our rental Unabomber Cabin, and so Sassy came to live with us. For the record, she is a champion mouser.

Pam was in the barn feeding Jeremiah the Horse a few months ago when she heard meowing from up in the loft. The next thing she knew, Mr. Pard was on her shoulder, purring up a storm. The next thing I knew, we had another cat. Leo is also a champion mouser, birder, and anything else that moves that is small.

So what's the deal with the sweater? I used to take Ruby to work with me every day from the time when she was a small puppy. The furnace broke and I only had a small electric heater, so I bought that sweater for Ruby. She hated wearing it, but soon outgrew it anyway. Pam happened to find it in the dogs' toy box and put it on Leo. Leo was less than pleased, as you can see, but he was a good sport and let Pam put it on.

Catching so many mice, Sassy caught a bad case of tape worms. I picked up this bottle of tape worm pills at our local Tractor Supply. The bottle comes with three pills. Pam and I looked everywhere on the bottle and the instructions inside. Amazingly, there was no dosage instructions. Anywhere.

Pam ground up one pill in a bit of canned cat food, a real treat that our cats never get. Like the dogs, they get dry food. The next day, we were debating whether to give Sassy another pill. Three pills, one a day? I decided to google the company, but the print on the bottle was so small that I couldn't read the company's name. Lacking a magnifying glass, I took a photo of the bottle and blew it up. Prolabs. I then googled for instructions, and what I found was very unsettling. The dosage is one pill. That's it. And actually, if your cat is four pounds or less, the dosage is a half a pill. If your cat contracts worms again, you have to wait 30 days before the next dose. Otherwise, your cat will overdose and possibly die.

I didn't find this information on the Prolabs website. I found it on an internet message board, where someone posted who actually called the company. I'm not the only one outraged. Many people are.

How can a drug company be so careless? So incompetent? So... stupid?

Tape worms are common in cats that eat mice, since many mice have tape worms. It is also easily spread to other animals through feces. I wonder how many pets have been lost due to poor instructions on medications?


  1. the instructions were on the blister card that the bottle is sold in....DIRECTIONS FOR USE:
    Tapeworm infection is one of the most common internal parasite problems actually observed by cat owners. The presence of tapeworms is indicated by the presence of tapeworm segments passed with the feces. Tapeworm segments are white, pinkish-white or yellow-white and similar in size and shape to flattened grains of rice. The segments are most frequent observed lying on the animal’s droppings or, less often, moving across a freshly passed stool. Segments are also found on the hair around the anus of the animal, or occasionally on the animal’s bedding. Cats become infected with tapeworms after eating fleas or small rodents (rats, mice) which are infected with tapeworm larvae. Consult your veterinarian for assistance in the diagnosis, treatment and control of parasitism.
    Administer to cats and kittens* only as follows:
    4 pounds and under…………………1/2 tablet
    5-11 pounds………………………….1 tablet
    Over 11 pounds……………………..1 ½ tablets
    *Not intended for use in kittens less than 6 weeks of age.
    FASTING IS NEITHER NECESSARY NOR RECOMMENDED and those directions were also on their site

  2. I just wanted to chime in, since I was surfing the internet for instructions for the exact same medicine, and also just now stumbled on a surprise discovery about the packaging. The previous commenter mentioned that the dosage and administration instructions are on the package, and I didn't believe it because I too looked all over the bottle and the packaging and didn't see it anywhere. But then I noticed that the cardboard backing of the packaging had a tiny gap in the edges, and when I pulled them apart, voila! It actually breaks open to a larger set of instructions that do in fact contain the dosing information mentioned above. It's a really stupid package design because I'm sure it's thrown tons of people off, but I'm glad to have actually found it. Just thought I should pipe in and mention it!

  3. My husband and I have just experienced this as well. That is how I found your blog. Thank you for the information. It has been so frustrating for us and our Fox. We have four dogs and one cat. :)
    Happy days to you!

  4. My four cats would not eat the tuna that I had crushed the tabs into. There goes $20 out the window. Any suggestions of what to do now?

  5. So do you just give the kitten 1/2 tablet once I dont see any where on package when to give any more can someone please let me know...

  6. My friend is a vet tech and says if you have a heavy infestation you can re-dose after 14 to 21 days. A heavy infestation would be if your cat is a regularly eating rodents. This should take care of it for up to a year. This is not a medication that should be used on a monthly basis. I have 2 indoor cats and give one dose about once a year or year and a half due to the flea problem here.

  7. I just went through the same thing no where does it say how many to give just how much but not for how many days so careless

  8. Hello I thought I would say that I agree the instructions on this are not that good it also did not tell you how to tell if the parisite is gone. But I wanted to say that since i tried before and my cat wouldnt eat the food with it either so i tipped her head back and dropped it in her throat my first cat was fine the next one not so much .

  9. Thanks for posting this info!! I've looked everywhere trying to find out how much and how often. The directions they give on the bottle are worthless aside from weight dosage. I gave my kitten half a tablet and since I couldn't find any other info(after emailing the company and not hearing back) I figured I was good. 2 months later I just noticed she still has them. So I tried a whole tablet now, we'll see if it works. At least now I know when I can give another dose if it's needed. So ridiculous.

  10. Thank you so much for this blog!! My cats have them I got this same medication. No instructions, well where it says directions it tells what tape worms are. Obviously I know what they are because I got the medicine. All I needed was the dose!!! Thank you again I would have given another dose tomorrow and the next day since there are 3 tabs. I bought two bottles because I have two cats.

  11. I have been using Prazaquantil for decades from this company called tapeworm tabs. Please make note to read all instructions when taking medication either for yourself or your beloved pets. Teena is correct.

  12. as mentioned above, not only are the instructions on the card that forms the packaging but they also appear when you look up the medicine, say, on that said, i'm glad to read that no one's pet was harmed.

  13. Tapeworm comes from FLEAS. The fleas carry tapeworm eggs inside them. When the cat eats a flea, the worms hatch inside the intestinal tract and latch on. As the tapeworm matures, the tail end of the worm breaks off and the pieces, which contain eggs, pass through the rectum. When they first emerge, they look like glistening white blobs that move. they they dry and fall off,, and resemble tiny sesame seeds. Flea larvae in the cat's bedding eat these, ,and start the cycle again.

  14. OK first off this medicine is the best thing that worked for my cats. Second off if you guys actually take time to look at the box instead of just assuming its going to be in bright bubbly letter, you might find it by opening yours eyes for once in your life. Lastly it takes more than a day to actually see the medicine work and stop the bitching

  15. The absence of instructions used to frustrate me too; I remember having to go online for the information. Ridiculous. I saved the backing card from my most recent purchase, so I guess they eventually improved the packaging.

    But Scythe is correct: Tapeworms are parasitic to fleas. I hate to be critical, but as long as your cats - or any outdoor cats - are coming into contact with fleas, whether in their environment or as a result of consuming flea-infested vermin, THEY ARE AT RISK FOR TAPEWORMS! I was going to urge you to invest in some kind of flea control - topicals are expensive, I know, but even a flea collar is better than nothing - however, I don't think that would be enough for cats who consume flea- and / or tapeworm-infested critters lower on the food chain.

    Flea control is CRITICAL, but your "working" cats are also being attacked from within, so the addition of tapeworm medication is NECESSARY. You would not want yourself or your child to suffer the symptoms and health consequences of infestation from either fleas or tapeworms, much less both, right? Finally - and I know he or she's been doing this longer than I have - I am concerned that a veterinarian or even a veterinary technician would suggest that once-yearly treatment for tapeworms is adequate.

    I love the sweater, by the way!

  16. I can no longer buy ProLabs tape worm wormer can some one please tell me what I can use to take the place of it since it's been pulled from the market. I rescue cats an it gets expensive to buy Frontline an advantage, so I get fleas in between seasons when I slow down on the flea medicine, so I need some wormer. I even ask my vet an she says use a topical on neck like advantage but it is 20$ a tube , really I have 13 cats, someone out there needs to help those that try to care for the strays no one wants thank u so much.

  17. I was using ProLabs too so I was in the same boat! I started to use...

    I haven't bought it from that site yet. I was getting it at my local feed store for $5.99 per tablet! I recently discovered I could get 4 of those tablets online for $16.50 (that's including shipping) so I will be ordering them from there next time.

    It claims those tablets work for tape, round and hook worms, but I've only ever used them for tape worms, just 1 dose works like it says. For the round and hook worms you need 3 doses 10 days apart (1st, 10th and 20th day). Like I said though, I never used it for hook or round worms but I don't see why it wouldn't work, the 1 dose works for tape worms just fine.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd share what I started using because it works and is a reasonable price. If anyone had success using that brand for round or hook worms, let us know!