How Can a Dog Catch Tapeworm?

In this blog, I'm going to tell you a little about a subject which is not very pleasant to think about, but is very important that pet owners need to be aware of it: tapeworm infection in dogs.

We recently adopted a puppy from a rescue shelter and were told there that many owners do not realize that all dogs need regular deworming treatments to keep them safe and healthy. The staff there also warned us of the fact that a dog which has tapeworm who is not treated can be a health risk to both other animals and humans.

What Types of Tapeworm Can Infect My Dog?

Tapeworm is the general name for several species of parasitic worm, so-called for their elongated, segmented bodies which resemble a piece of tape. The types of tapeworm that dog owners need to be concerned about are Dipylidium caninum, Taenia and Echinococcus. These worms live inside your pet's intestine, where they absorb nutrients from the food that your dog eats. As the worms mature, they shed egg-carrying segments from their body, which are passed with the pets" faeces, thereby perpetuating the worm life cycle.

How Do Dogs Catch Tapeworm?

To understand how to prevent your dog from suffering tapeworm infestation, first you need to know exactly how the worms can be transmitted to your pet. In the case of Dipylidium caninum, infection begins with fleas, which can carry tapeworm eggs. Dogs can accidentally swallow fleas during grooming and the worm eggs then develop to mature worms. Taenia and Echinococcus use a different types of intermediate host: other animals including rodents like rabbits and mice, and livestock such as sheep, pigs, horses and cattle. Dogs which come into contact with these animals through work (such as sheep and hunting dogs), live in farming regions or eat raw offal and meat have a higher risk of being infected with worms.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Getting Tapeworm

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to help prevent your dog from catching tapeworm and becoming a carrier of infection. The first step that all dog owners should take is to follow a regular deworming schedule. One of the best wormers is Droncit , an oral pet medication which eliminates the problem quickly and cleanly, without distressing your pet. Droncit can be used both to treat a known case of worms, and also as a preventative. The second step is to use flea control products to reduce your pets contact with fleas. Products like Frontline Plus and Revolution are good options which have been proven for their efficacy. Finally, try to prevent your pet from eating small animals and raw offal, which may carry tapeworm eggs. By following these steps, the chance of tapeworm problems getting out of hand and causing harm to your pets or family is significantly reduced.