Dipylidium Caninum
(Commonly referred as a flatworm but a different species)
Tapeworms are a parasite that locates in the small intestine of the dog.
The most common tapeworm found in dogs is the (Dipylidium Caninum).
They are flat and segmented, white in color and can grow up to 20cm long.
They attach themselves to the dog's intestine by their hook like mouth.
There is no other way for a pet to get Tapeworms except
from fleas or eating dead rodents or animals that are infected.

The Tapeworm Life Cycle

The tapeworm segment breaks open releasing its eggs.
A larval flea consumes the egg along with the flea dirt that it normally eats.
As the larval flea matures, so does the baby tapeworm.
When a grooming dog or cat licks the flea and swallows it,
the dead flea is digested in the dog’s stomach releasing the baby tapeworm.
The tapeworm moves to the small intestine where it attach's and lives its life.
This parasite does not harm the pet in any way as there
are plenty of nutrients passing by to serve
both the host and its tapeworm
(tapeworms require very little nutrients.)
Still, high performance dogs, which need every calorie working for them,
may show a decrease in performance because of a tapeworm infection.
Dogs can also acquire tapeworms by eating infected rodents or lizards.

Signs and Symptoms of Tapeworms
Often, tapeworm infection is diagnosed solely by the appearance
of tapeworm segments around the dog's anus.
In severe infections, your dog's stomach may appear swollen and tender to the touch.
The dog may appear anxious and may vomit.
The active segments around the anal area may cause discomfort,
and your dog may lick his anus excessively, or scoot his butt along the floor.
In very severe cases of dog tapeworm infection,
your dog may display any of the following symptoms:
Weight loss
Dull coat
Lack of appetite
Low energy levels
Diarrhea and vomiting

Diagnosis of Whipworms
Because the eggs are passed by the pet in packets (segments),
they often do not show up on the fecal exam;
(Test process is called fecal flotation)
The packet must break open for the eggs to be seen.
Consider that the pet has tapeworms if segments are seen under its tail,
around its anus, or on its feces.
Segments can be passed in small groups connected to each other
leading the owner to describe a worm that sounds larger than a grain of rice.
Tapeworm segments are also quite flat.
Some people will mistake maggots in the stool for tapeworms.
Maggots are not seen in freshly passed stool and are not flat.

Treating Tapeworms
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.

A regular de-worming regime is important and also most important
is an effective flea control regime.

Human Animals & Tapeworms
Humans can become infected with the tapeworm Dipylidium Caninum but it is rare.
Tapeworm Infection in Humans is not usually spread by dogs.

John A Sampson I
K9 Training
00 + 1 + 989-662-6230 International
Exposed tapeworm
Dog Tapeworms
Tape worm head
tapeworm segments
Tapeworm extracted
tapeworm under inspection
Expelled tapeworm
Tape worm
Tapeworm losing segments
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