Tapeworm(Dipylidium caninum) infestations are now very commonly found in many dogs around the world. Though the mild or moderate level of infestations doesn’t cause any significant damage to your dog’s health. Heavy infestations can actually deteriorate the health of your dog and lead to some annoying health issues like weakness and vomiting. That is the reason why you, as a dog parent need to become strictly vigilant and well equipped with all types of information needed to prevent and treat these segmented parasites.
And in doing so, many questions may arise in your mind about tapeworms that are critical and need to be answered.
Hence, read on to get the answers to your doubts or questions about tapeworms.
What Are Tapeworms?
- Tapeworms are flat tape or ribbon-like segmented worms that attach themselves to your pooch’s intestinal wall.
- They belong to the family of cestodes.
- They are made up of small segments that are 3-5 mm long.
- Adult tapeworms can grow up to 8 inches.
- These parasites shed their rare-end segments as they grow.
- Segments are passed out with feces and look like a rice grain or a cucumber seed
- Segments are called proglottids and can be seen around the anus of your pooch or on the surface of your dog’s stool
How Does A Dog Get Infected By A Tapeworm?
- Dogs get infected by these parasites when they ingest a flea infected by a tapeworm larvae
- Tapeworm infection is only possible in dogs if tapeworms are passed through an intermediate host
- Direct ingestion of fertilized tapeworm eggs does not result in a tapeworm infestation.
- Nevertheless, Taenia species and Echinococcus multilocularis are the types of tapeworms that can pass on to your dog when he/she eats a prey like rodents or rabbits, coyotes, fox, and other wild animals.
What Complications Can Tapeworms Cause?
- Thankfully, moderate tapeworms don’t cause any serious or fatal complications.
- However, heavy infestations may lead to some serious condition like anemia, stunted growth, and intestinal blockages
- Scooting is also common in dogs infected with tapeworms
What Color Are Tapeworms?
- Tapeworms are generally white or cream colored segmented parasites.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tapeworms?
- Symptoms are very rare. However, scooting can be one.
- Vomiting and weight-loss are also sometimes amongst the symptoms.
How To Diagnose Tapeworms?
- Your vet will diagnose these worms by examining the white rice-grain-like segments in your pooch’s stool.
- Tapeworms are not regularly seen in the stool. So, whenever you find one, collect that and take it to the vet for an examination.
Are Tapeworms In Dogs Contagious To Humans?
- No, they are not because Dipylidium caninum are tapeworms common in dogs.
- This tapeworm species can only be infected to humans if a flea is ingested accidentally because the tapeworm eggs require an intermediate host.
- However, other tapeworms can be acquired by humans if they eat the partially cooked meat of certain animals infected with tapeworms.
What Treats Tapeworms In Dogs?
- The treatment of tapeworms is very effective and easy to use.
- A drug called Praziquantel can be given orally or can be administered topically.
- Treatment for tapeworm can be bought online at cheap prices from websites like canadavetcare.com and canadapetcare.com.(These websites are new in the market and always keep low prices to compete with big giants. You can probably get benefitted from their competition.)
- Getting back to tapeworm treatment, the treatment deliquesces tapeworms in the intestine because of which the tapeworms can’t be seen in feces.
- The timely dosage of the treatment stops the worm infestation to exacerbate.
Can You Prevent Tapeworms In Dogs?
- Of course, tapeworms can be prevented.
- Fleas are the reason behind tapeworm infestations. Hence, it would be wise to control and prevent fleas.
- Effective products like Frontline plus, Nexgard Spectra and Simparica can be used for flea treatment and prevention. These products can be bought online at affordable prices from website like canadapetcare.com.
- Regular administration of de-wormers also keeps the tapeworms at bay.
- Treatment of the surroundings to eradicate fleas is also important to make sure your dog is safe.
- Keep your dog away from rodents and other hosts as, ingesting such flea-infested hosts can also infect your dog with tapeworms. Also, tapeworms like Taenia species and Echinococcus multilocularis can also infect your dog through ingestion of rodents or partially or uncooked meat of wild animals like foxes and coyotes.
Are Tapeworms Dangerous?
- Dipylidium caninum is not very harmful to dogs, and only heavy infestation can pose some serious threat to your dog’s health.
- However, it can be easily treated with the help of treatments containing Praziquantel
- Taenia species is also a type of tapeworms that are very long and can stretch up to one meter.
- Heavy infestation of these worms can cause blockage in the intestine. This species of tapeworm also responsible for developing hydated cysts in intermediate hosts.
- The most dangerous type of tapeworm is Echinococcus multilocularis. It is found in rodents and wild animals like coyotes and foxes.
- These small in length worms should never be underestimated as these 1 cm long tapeworms can damage the liver by multiplying and penetrating like a tumor.
- Although these worms can also be treated with the help of the same drug, in severe stage surgical removal of the tumor-like cluster of tapeworm larvae, Praziquantel is considered by the vets.
Can we get an Over the counter medicine for tapeworms?
- Yes, there are many over the counter medicines available at the drug store.
- Just make sure the medicine contains praziquantel or fenbendazole or epsiprantel and it says on the label that it treats tapeworms.
- Read the product label carefully for the dosage timelines.
How Common Are Tapeworms In Dogs?
- Since the primary reason of tapeworm infestation is fleas, the tapeworm infestations are very common in the areas severely infected with fleas.
Can You See Tapeworms In Dog Stool?
- Yes, you can, the tapeworm segments containing tapeworm eggs are visible on the surface of dog’s stool.
- The segments look like rice grains or cucumber seeds.
- Initially, the segments are soft and move a bit but after some time the segments become hard and stop moving.
- These segments can also be seen around the dog’s anus in the fur.
So, these were the FAQs about tapeworms. Hope the questions that you had in your mind are answered. You can always contact your vet if you are confused or want the perfect advice about the treatments.