Dog tapeworms are dog parasites that live in the small intestines in dogs. The scolex or head of the parasite fastens itself to the wall of the gut by suckers and hooks. The body has small segments that contain packets of eggs. Tapeworms in dogs can vary in size from less than an inch up to several feet long. The head of the parasite must be killed and purged to cure the dog of tapeworm infection.
When sexually mature the segments of the body that contains the eggs are passed in the dogs feces. If the segments are fresh and moist they are capable of moving. They are about a quarter of an inch in size. You may see them sticking to the hair around your dog’s anus or in his feces. The worms on dogs look like kernels of rice or sesame seeds when they are dry.
There are several different types of dog tapeworms a dog can acquire. One is due to eating discarded animal parts or uncooked meat. Eating raw fish is another way. The disease is transmitted by fleas. The dog must swallow or bite the fleas which contains the immature tapeworms in it’s intestines. The flea acquires the canine parasite by eating dog tapeworm eggs.
The tapeworm rarely causes significant ill effects. You may notice a change in the texture and condition of your dog’s coat. Symptoms of severe tapeworm infestation can cause, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and a reductin in weight. Unless the dog has heavy infection, you will not notice tapeworm segments in the feces.
If a child accidentally swallows an infective flea it can acquire a tapeworm. Echinococcus granulosus is a more serious disease in man that is caused by the canine tapeworm. This disease is found in sheep, cattle, elk, deer, pigs, horses and other domestic livestock. The dog acquires the infection by eating uncooked meat or the carcass of an animal that is infected with echinococcus granulosus larvae.
The eggs do not produce worms in humans, but produce large cysts in the lungs, liver, and brain. The cysts are called hydatids. This can result in a serious or fatal illness. Common dog tapeworms can be prevented by controlling fleas and other insects. Do not feed your dog fish or raw meat. Keep your dog away from rodents.
In addition to external parasites such as fleas and ticks, dogs can be plagued by intestinal parasites. Dog worms can cause severe health issues in dogs. You should ask your vet to check your dogs stool twice a year for tapeworms and other canine worms too.
Treatment of tapeworms in dogs include giving Telmintic dog worm medicine 3-5 days in a row.