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Dog Tapeworms

Dog Tapeworms

There are two parasites that can be seen by the dog owner: Roundworms and Tapeworms. What the dog owner will observe is tapeworm segments that have broken off from the adult parasite attached to the lining of the dog’s intestinal tract. These tapeworm pieces are � – � inch in length, are usually white, and are usually seen (while still alive) contracting and expanding around the dog’s rectum or on a dog’s stool immediately after elimination. Once these segments die, they will appear like a grain of uncooked wild rice or a sesame seed and are often found in the dog’s bedding.

Tapeworms also live in the dog’s intestine. They are called tapeworms because of their long, flat, ribbon tape appearance. Dogs usually get tapeworms when they eat a flea that ate a tapeworm egg. Tapeworms don’t have mouths so they feed by absorbing food across their skin. They hold onto the wall of the intestine with hooks and suckers on their head.

The most common route of infection occurs when the dog swallows a flea that is carrying the parasite’s eggs. Tapeworms cannot be directly transmitted from dogs to humans but small children could accidentally ingest flea larvae or pupae on the floor containing an immature tapeworm and get a tapeworm infection.

Dog Tapeworm Symptoms

Depending on the species, severe infection may cause the following symptoms:

Abdominal discomfort
Severe itching around the anus
Weight loss

Deworming can be done by either oral medication or by injection. The most common antiparasitic agent used is praziquantel another is epsiprantel.

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