Tapeworms And Your Dog
Keeping your dog free of tapeworms is simple and a great way to keep them healthy and happy
More about tapeworms and your dog
Dogs can pick up tapeworms from several sources:
- Some species of tapeworm can migrate into muscle and form cysts. Dogs may become infected by eating undercooked or raw meat from infected animals.
- Fleas can carry Dipylidium caninum larvae. Dogs can swallow infected fleas when grooming, and become infected themselves. This is a major route of infection with Dipylidium caninumfor dogs in the UK.
- From contact with infected dogs or ground that has become infected with tapeworms via faeces This can include sheep and cow faeces which carry Taenia tapeworms.
There may be no external signs of an early infection with tapeworms. One of the first signs may be the presence of tapeworm segments in faeces or around your dog’s back end – these are often described as looking like moving grains of rice.
If the presence of the tapeworm starts to physically affect your dog you may see more advanced signs including:
- Itching around the anus (scooting and licking)
- Lack of energy
- Weight loss
- Poor skin and coat condition
- Regular worming treatments. Worming treatments usually come in the form of tablets or spot-ons,and may manage a range of parasites including tapeworms. The best parasite protocol for your dog will depend on you, your dog, your lifestyle and even the season, and your vet can help you decide which regime works best for you. However you choose to manage worms in your dog, make sure to speak to a vet about the best anti-parasitics on offer, as many over the counter treatments have poor efficancy.
- Keeping your dogs and cats up to date with flea treatments will also reduce the risk of fleas infecting your dog with a tapeworm.
- Cook any meat thoroughly this will kill any tapeworms that may be present
- Clean up after your dog quickly. This will help prevent further spread of tapeworms.