How is Tapeworm Transferred from Pets to Humans?

Tapeworm may not be a subject that you want to spend too much time thinking about, but if you own a dog or cat, then the following blog is an essential read.

What Are Tapeworms?

Tapeworm is a type of parasite which can infect many different types of animals including two of the most common household pets: cats and dogs. An untreated tapeworm infestation can have severe health effects for pets, and in some cases, can be passed to humans.

Could Your Pet Infect Your Family With Tapeworm?

There are several varieties of tapeworm which can be carried by pets, such as cats and dogs, that have not been treated with deworming pet meds . Although not all of these can be transmitted to humans, certain types can, which can lead to serious illness and the need for medical intervention.

There are two main tapeworm species which can be transferred from pets to humans. Dipylidium caninum is known to be the most common tapeworm and is found in both dogs and cats. This type of tapeworm can be passed on when an infected pet licks you, or a flea carrying tapeworm larvae is accidentally swallowed by your dog. Echinococcus multilocularis is another type of tapeworm which can infect humans. These tapeworms can be transferred to a human who strokes the fur of an infested dog or cat, picking up microscopic eggs as they do so.

In general, the mode of tapeworm transmission from pet to person is due to close physical contact such as allowing a pet to lick you or letting it sleep on your bed which causes accidental ingestion of the tapeworm eggs. Contact with cat or dog faeces also carries a risk, as is eating unwashed wild foods.

Keeping Your Home Tapeworm-Free

Unless you are a trained veterinarian, it is not easy to identify tapeworm symptoms in dogs and cats. This can be a worry for pet owners, but it doesn't have to be. An excellent range of pet meds for deworming have been developed to control tapeworm infestation and prevent the spread of these parasites. Regular treatment with a deworming medicine such as praziquantel or Droncit will give you peace of mind, keeping your pet clear of tapeworm infection and preventing the parasite from being passed on to your family. Other important ways to protect your family from tapeworm infestation include regular hand-washing, especially after touching your pet or clearing up its feces.