Tapeworms are a parasite
that are found in the small intestine of dogs. The most
common tapeworm found in dogs is the Dipylidium Caninum.
They are flat and segmented, white in colour and can
grow up to 20cm long. They attach themselves to the
dog's intestine by their hook like mouth.
How does a
dog get tapeworms?
cycle begins with the flea larvae eating fecal matter that
contains tapeworm eggs.
hatch inside the flea and become cysticercoids.
A dog may then swallow a flea
that contains these cysticercoids while chewing or biting at
an itchy area on it's skin.
Once the flea
passes into the dog's intestine the flea is broken down and
the cysticercoids develop into an adult tapeworm.
attaches itself to the lining of the intestine and feeds off
tapeworm matures the tail segments drops off. These segments
are mobile. Each segment contains the eggs of the tapeworm.
The egg packets are passed in the feces of the dog.
The eggs are
then ingested by the flea larvae
The most common
areas that tapeworm eggs are found are in the dog's bedding
and in your carpet.
Dogs can also
acquire tapeworms by eating infected rodents or lizards.
How do I
know my dog has tapeworms?
You can often see
the dried sections of tapeworm around the dogs anus. They
resemble rice grains.
Dogs will often scoot around on
their rear end due to the irritation.
You may see the moving segments
of tapeworm in the dog's poop.
Your vet may examine a smear
from your dogs anus under a microscope.
How to treat
tapeworms in my dog?
Treatment is simple and in most cases
extremely effective. Your dog will be given a drug that kills
tapeworm and doesn't cause side effects. Tapeworm tablets can
be purchased from your vet.
Droncit, Cestex, Drontal, Drontal Plus, Telmintic, and
Vercom Paste are highly effective against all the common dog
tapeworms. Use them under veterinary guidance.
How can I prevent
tapeworms in my dog
A regular de-worming regime (see above) is important and
also equally important is an effective flea control regime.
to get rid of Fleas article.
Can I or my
children get infected with tapeworms? Humans can become infected with the
tapeworm Dipylidium Caninum but it is rare.
Tapeworm Infection in Humans
is not usually spread by dogs. For more information read
Can Humans Catch Worms from Dogs?
has not been written by a veterinarian & should not be
considered a replacement for a veterinarian visit. The
articles are provided for informative purposes only. While
great care has been made in the creation of these articles,
we cannot guarantee the accuracy or omissions on these
pages. If in any doubt whatsoever, seek professional medical
advice from your veterinarian.