Tapeworm Dogs

A comprehensive overview of tapeworm covering subjects like cure, treatment, symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
Tapeworm Dogs

Tapeworm dogs

     Diseases caused by the tapeworm at dogs are called cestodosis.

     The tapeworms (also known as wide worms or ribbon) can be found in humans in both larval and adult stage, depending on the species of tapeworm and its life cycle.

     The infection with tapeworm, dogs and cats in this case, usually do not present clinical symptoms related to the infestation with this parasite. Tapeworm in dogs and people is found in the adult form which is located in the intestine, where it is fixed with scolex (the "head" tapeworm).

     At tapeworm in dogs, segments of the terminal portion containing tapeworm eggs detach them self and get in the feces with which are eliminated in outside environment. Terminal segments of the tapeworm can be seen in the feces or on the hair that surrounds the anus. These have sizes of approx. 1.5 cm and have a crawl like movements. The proglottids movement near the anus can make the dog to crawl on his butt or lick himself. People, especially children, can get infested with tapeworms from dogs by accidentally ingesting adult fleas which can contain tapeworm eggs (larval forms of the flea can feed with the eggs of the tapeworm).

     The adult tapeworm can have a length up to 30 cm. The tapeworm dog infection is caused by the ingestion of adult fleas.

     The prevention of tapeworm in dogs is done by administration of common substances contained in the disinfestations pills (Drontal Plus, Cestral Plus, Pratel, Tiantelm etc.). It recommended and very important that the flea infestation is dealt with in the same time the tapeworm treatment is administrated, because the fleas are the intermediate hosts for this parasite.

     The tapeworm family contains several species that can be found at dog or cat in its adult form. Intermediate forms are usually found in herbivores, rarely in humans. Carnivore cubs usually get infected after they switch from milk to solid food, the adult form of the tapeworm can be seen at a month after that. Adult forms of the tapeworm in dogs can reach sizes of up to 50 cm. Domestic carnivores get infected by hunting small animals (lizards, insects, birds) or by eating insufficiently cooked meat containing larval forms (cysts) of the tapeworm.

     Echinococcos granulosus is a very small tapeworm (3 mm). The dog is the definitive host of this parasite. The animal can get infected with it by eating meat or organs that came from a sheep and rarely from other ungulate herbivores. People are accidentally intermediate hosts (not included in average life cycle of tapeworm). Human infestation occurs with eggs from feces of the dog that has adult tapeworms.

     At humans, larval form determines hydatid cysts in different organs (liver, lungs, brain) and is extremely serious. Treatment in humans of these cysts is surgical and with drugs that destroy the larval forms. In the US the disease is endemic; a large number of cases of hydatid cysts in humans are being recorded.

     It is very important that dogs do not to eat poorly cooked meat or organs that come from sheep. The eggs of this parasite can resist up to one year if the conditions of moisture and low temperature are ideal. The heat and dehydration destroys them.

     Periodic internal disinfection and the destruction of the dog's feces are also important to prevent environmental contamination with eggs of this parasite, thus preventing human infestation but also the usual intermediate hosts-sheep.

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