In referring back to the statement of Dr. Johnson to the Montana Environmental Quality Council, Dr. Johnson states that Droncit is “100% effective” for getting rid of tapeworms in wolves with just one treatment. If that was so, why then did he say he gave “at least twice” the number of injections that a 100% effective worm-killing drug would do.
The World Health Organization says that: “Although the efficacy of praziquantel is highly reliable in almost all cases, the possibility of low residual worm burdens in some of the treated animals cannot be excluded, notably if mistakes of drug administration occur.” Perhaps “almost” 100% would have been more accurate to describe the effectiveness of Droncit and perhaps “at least” two doses of Droncit would be responsible, if one considers the seriousness of the spread of disease. Was that the case here?
What we don’t know from Johnson’s statement is what the dosages given were for each wolf. In researching information on Droncit (praziquantel), The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) tells us1 that dosages depend on the weight of the animal. Did Dr. Johnson give injections “at least twice” because he spread out the “100% effective” dewormer into two or more injections? If so, does that render the drug ineffective?
The FDA also warns that harm or death can result to an animal that is dosed too highly. Therefore we must assume one of two things. One, that there was only really one injection divided into two or more administrations of the drug, which I think is rational to assume that was not the case, when considering the World Health Organization’s explanation that human error in administering Droncit might play a role in the effectiveness of the drug. It just doesn’t make sense that it would be done that way. Or, two, all the wolves captured in Canada were given two or more doses of Droncit at full dosage and other anti-parasitic drugs before being shipped to the U.S. Without putting the wolves in danger by following the FDA recommended dosages of Droncit, a first injection would have been given to the wolves followed by a second dosage 30 days after. And I assume 30 days after for all subsequent injections. That is my understanding.
So, were the wolves kept in crates or holding pens in Canada for 30 days, or longer, so that “at least twice” Droncit could be administered to each wolf? I’ve never seen any records that would indicate that Canada kept captured wolves for 30 days or more, but as I have said, information and records of this event are sketchy at best, and perhaps intended to be that way.
The reason this is important is because we Americans have been told on repeated occasions that “it is extremely unlikely” that any wolves came into the United States infected with Echinococcus tapeworms, i.e. those of the “northern strain.” We know this “northern strain” was readily found in Alaska and Canada, as far south as the northern border of the United States. So, trapped wolves that were caught in Canada were caught in landscapes where the more virulent strain of Echinococcus exists.
If the wolves were not kept in Canada for 30 days or more, then were all the wolves brought into the United States put into holding pens so they could be dewormed? Dr. Johnson’s statement makes less sense the more we examine it.
If Droncit is 100% effective, then why the need to offer a statement that all wolves were given Droncit at least twice? Of what was the Montana Environmental Quality Council trying to be convinced of?
Complicating the issue is that we know some wolves were brought in crates from Canada directly to their release zones and let go . We have been told that all wolves were dewormed before entering the United States. But how can we be sure?
The records I have indicated above that I possess, I had a licensed veterinary doctor examine these records. The doctor had no information about why I wanted an opinion other than I was writing a book. The doctor sent me this statement: