Anthelmintics for dogs and cats

In addition to the standard labelling requirements, labels on anthelmintic products for dogs and cats must also carry the following information, as applicable.

1. Indications

Label claims must only state the specific parasites and stages of the life cycle against which the compound has been tested and proved effective.

Both the common and scientific name of parasites must appear in the medicinal claims on the labels of anthelmintics for dogs and cats; for example, roundworms (Toxocara canis). However, where space is limited and the scientific names are included in the complete claim that appears on an ancillary panel, they do not have to appear in the summary claim on the main label panel.

Generic claims for hookworm in dogs are allowed, provided the product controls both Uncinaria and Ancylostoma species. An ‘aids-in-control’ claim may be allowed for one of these worm species, provided the APVMA has agreed that the range of efficacy resulting from registration trials is acceptable. All labels for dog and cat anthelmintics for gastrointestinal parasites should carry the statement:

If worm problems persist, consult a veterinarian.

2. Directions for use

2.1. Dosage and administration

All anthelmintics (except prescription products) should carry specific label directions as outlined in Tables 1 and 2 below.

For anthelmintics administered routinely every month,(for example monthly heartworm products that aslo control gastrointestinal worms), the directions for the dosing interval instructions may be varied to those outlined below on a case by case basis, as appropriate. This will be determined during evaluation of the product. 

Table 1: Dosage for cats
Parasite/situation Treatment
Tapeworm Treat every 3 months
Roundworm or hookworm Treat at 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age—thereafter every 3 months
Pregnant cats Treat at mating, before birth of kittens and then every 3 months  
Table 2: Dosage for dogs
Parasite/situation Treatment
Hydatid tapeworm Dogs should not be fed, or allowed to feed on, offal from any species. Dogs in hydatid areas should be treated every 6 weeks.
Other tapeworms Treat every 3 months. A statement regarding flea control should appear on the labels in relation to Dipylidium species (not relevant to Taenia species).
Roundworm and hookworm Treat at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks—thereafter every 3 months
Whipworm Treat every 6 to 8 weeks after 3 months of age
Heartworm (when relevant) WARNING: Consult a veterinarian before use. Adverse reactions may occur when administering this product to dogs for prevention of heartworm.
Pregnant bitches Treat at mating, before whelping and then every 3 months

All heartworm products should carry the following instruction:

Treatment for heartworm should occur regularly at [x] intervals.

3. Use of specific terminology

3.1. ‘Broad-spectrum’ or ‘all wormer’

The term ‘broad-spectrum’ or ‘all wormer’, with reference to cat and dog anthelmintics, should only be used for worm treatments that control all major types of gastrointestinal worms (that is, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms in dogs; and roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms in cats).

Where ‘broad-spectrum’ or ‘all wormer’ is claimed for anthelmintics for dogs, the following statement must be included in the claim on the front panel unless data to the contrary is provided:

Does not control heartworm in dogs.

A generic claim for tapeworm control is permitted only when a product used at the recommended label rate removes greater than 99 per cent of hydatid tapeworm. Where no hydatid control claim is made, the label must have the following statement in the claim on the front panel:

Does not control hydatid tapeworms (Echinococcus granulosus).

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