Why is it Important to Kill Tapeworm in Pets

The Tapeworm is one of the biggest problems faced by pets in the United States and understanding how to deal with these parasites is essential for all owners of cats and dogs.

What Are The Risks Of A Tapeworm Infestation For My Pet?

Dipylidium, Taenia and Echinococcus are the Latin names of the three most common types of tapeworm to infect pets in the USA. Dipylidium uses fleas as intermediate hosts, Taenia can be passed on to pets which have contact with infected rodents or consume raw meat, and Echinococcus (less widespread than the other tapeworm types) are passed to pets through contact with infected livestock or wild animals. Tapeworm are usually passed on in the form of a cyst or eggs, which have to potential to grow into mature worms.

The scenario for infection is simple: a cat which eats a mouse that it has ambushed, a dog which swallows a flea while grooming in both these circumstances, your pet could now be a host to parasites. Once the tapeworm cyst is inside your pet, it sticks to the gut lining and begins to develop. Adult worms vary in length and have segmented bodies, with each segment holding packages of eggs. From time to time, segments are shed and excreted with the host's faeces, where they are then capable of infecting other animals.

The risks of tapeworm for your pet are usually quite minor, especially if you are aware of the dangers and use a regular wormer to treat your pet. However, untreated worm infections can become a drain on your pet's health and may cause lethargy, digestive complaints and more serious problems as time goes on. An infected pet also helps to continue the tapeworm life cycle, and could spread the problem to other animals in your home and beyond.

Do Tapeworm Present Any Dangers to Humans?

While it is most unpleasant to think about, there is a risk of a worm-infected cat or dog accidentally passing the parasite to its human owner. Transmission often occurs when pet owners forget to wash their hands before eating, or if their pet licks their face. This means that preventative methods are important and an essential to protect your family from tapeworm.

Eliminating Tapeworm

When treating a pet for tapeworm, it is important to choose a product which kills the worm, including the head. Using a wormer like praziquantel is particularly effective, as it destroys the entire worm body and ensures that it cannot regenerate.