Tapeworm Information, Treatment and Prevention
Tags: Worms, Dogs, Medicine, Treatment, Puppies, Prevention, Roundworm
Picture of a Tapeworms
Information on Tapeworms
Tapeworms at 6 inches and longer are visible to the naked eye but are seldom seen as they aren’t passed through the feces. Instead as this worm grows longer, it grows numerous segments of a tail, each segment with its own reproductive tract. These segments break off in sequence and carry with it a sac of tapeworm eggs.
These segments are the visible signs of tapeworm infestation as they are moving bodies resembling a grain of rice. Once the sac breaks and releases the eggs, the eggs are then picked up by feeding flea larvae. As the flea matures to adulthood, so does the young tapeworm becoming infectious and waiting for its trip back to a dog’s intestines.
See also related worm information:
The infected flea is often caught feeding on a dog by getting licked and swallowed. As the flea is digested, the tapeworm then finds its way back to the intestine and the cycle continues. It’s important to recognize that the flea is needed to complete the tapeworms development cycle and without a flea infestation, the tapeworm eggs cannot mature and will die off. Fleas are not the only means of transmission however. Your dog can be infected by eating other infected animals.
Hobo at one year of age.
Signs of Tapeworm
The most recognizable sign of tapeworm is by examining the feces or around the dog’s anus. The egg sacs when first excreted are about the size of a grain of rice. As the egg sac dries, its size is reduced to that of a sesame seed. Your dog also may have some weight loss, although many dogs will not experience any noticeable loss.
Prevention and Treatment of Tapeworm
The best way to prevent tapeworm is to keep your dog flea free. Without fleas, tapeworm eggs are not infectious and cannot develop to adult worms. Read here for more information on flea prevention.
Medicine for Tapeworm
Tapeworm tabs or injections by Praziquantel are an effective treatment. This treatment kills the tapeworm where they live. This brand is widely used for its safety and effectiveness. If you have further questions or concerns regarding treatment, consult your veterinarian.
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