Tapeworms (cestodes), are common parasites of the small intestine of dogs and cats; they are flat and can measure from a few millimetres (Echinococcus) up to 2.5 metres (Taenia hydatigena) in length. They attach to the gut’s wall of the dog and live of the gut’s content, which is absorbed, through their integument (“skin”).
How Tapeworms are Transmitted
Example 1: Echinococcus granulosus
Example 2: Dipylidium caninum
Adult tapeworms live in the intestine of dogs and produce eggs, which are shed in the environment through the dog’s faeces. These eggs contain a first stage larva and, when eaten by an intermediate host, for example a small mammal such as a mouse for Taenia and Echinococcus multilocularis, a ruminant for Echinococcus granulosus and Taenia or an arthropod (flea or lice) for Dipylidium caninum, the development proceeds up to the formation of the second larval stage. These larvae are infective for the dog and, when this ingests the intermediate host or its tissues, they attach to the wall of the intestine and become adults within a few weeks.
Adult tapeworms are aesthetically unpleasant but cause little harm in dogs, although severe infections may cause intestinal damage due to the physical presence of the worms.
Treating Tapeworm Infection
A few anthelmintic products are marketed for the treatment and control of all the most important dog cestode infections. A few of them are also effective against all other common dog worms thus ensuring a complete protection of your pet and you.
Be sure to give to your pet the one that best satisfies its and your needs, in terms of ease of use, efficacy and safety (especially if very young pups are to be treated).
Tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosus, through a microscope.
Learn more about Worm Control in Dogs and Cats from independent Non-profit organisations.
Used for the prevention of heartworm disease and the control of roundworms, hookworms and whipworms in dogs.
Used for the treatment of mixed infections with roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms, reduction of infection of lungworms and the prevention of heartworm disease in dogs .
Oral broad-spectrum anthelmintic and flea control product for dogs.