Are you a pet lover? If yes, then I’m sure you know or have heard about tapeworms in dogs before. Worms can cause some nasty gastrointestinal issues and can affect your dog’s overall health, causing your lovely pet to suffer. Tapeworm infestation in dogs, however, isn’t considered a life-threatening, or dangerous issue, as it can be treated if taken into consideration on time. To help you, here you have a comprehensive guide on what are tapeworms in dogs, and how to get rid of them!
What Are Tapeworms in Dogs?
In short, tapeworms are a type of intestinal parasite, responsible for affecting your dog’s health immensely. These worms are segmented and each worm is known as proglottid. Taenia, Mesocestoides, Echinococcus, and Dipylidium caninum are some common tapeworm species in the cestode family of worms that are likely to affect your dog’s health. However, there are several, the most common species when it comes to tapeworms in dogs is Dipylidium caninum.
Symptoms of A Dog With Tapeworms
Whether it’s puppies or dogs, there are not several symptoms of tapeworm infestation. At times, dogs may exhibit behaviors such as licking, biting their anus, or scooting along the ground due to an itching sensation. It happens when the proglottid segments in the intestine break away from the adult tapeworm and migrate through the anal orifice.
When this occurs, you might observe small rice-like segments around your dog’s anus or in their feces. Besides, excessive scooting may cause irritation in the anal area. In severe cases of infection, your dog is likely to experience weight loss. In rare instances, dogs heavily infected with adult tapeworms may even vomit whole tapeworms, which were dislodged during the act of vomiting.
What Causes Tapeworms In Puppies And Dogs?
Dogs are likely to get tapeworms if they ingest fleas infected with the tapeworm larvae. It tends to happen while grooming when the dog licks their fur and eats an infected flea. In the cycle transformation of tapeworm, the flea is proved to be the intermediate host. It means, your dog is less likely to become infected only by eating poop that has proglottid packets along with fertilized tapeworm eggs.
Life Cycle of Tapeworms in Dog
The tapeworm life cycle initiates when your dog ingests an intermediate host like the adult flea carrying tapeworm larvae. Once the dog ingested the adult flea or the body has digested it, the tapeworm larvae get released into the dog’s intestine. The tapeworm, after that, attached to the intestinal wall reaches maturity to adulthood.
“The adult tapeworm grows continuously. As they grow consistently, the segmented packets responsible for making up the tapeworm’s body break off inside the dog’s intestine. These packets tend to come out of the intestine through the face or the anal orifice and then get attached to the fur around your dog’s tail and hindquarters.”
How to Treat Tapeworms In Dogs
Now that you know about tapeworms in dogs, you may want to know how to remedy them. Similar to every disease which has a solution, tapeworms, too, can be treated with the help of a parasiticide drug which is known as praziquantel. You can find this drug in both oral and injectable forms. The dose of the praziquantel will be given to the dogs depending on their weight.
As soon as a dog is given the appropriate dose of praziquantel, it begins to work inside your pet’s body causing the adult tapeworms to leave the intestinal wall. The Drug causes the tapeworms to be digested and then pass through the dog’s gut.
You can avail of praziquantel from both prescription and over-the-counter. However, you can choose, before choosing an over-the-counter remedy, make sure you have talked to a vet and are determined to give your pet an appropriate dose.
“As far as side effects are concerned, it’s not a matter of concern, because there are very rare chances of this. If it happens, it may be diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, and the like.”
Are There Home Remedies for Tapeworms in Dogs?
It seems pleasing to have the capability to remedy tapeworms in dogs at home without needing to go to a vet, but unfortunately, there’s no solution like this. However, there’s no solution to treat tapeworms that can prevent you from visiting vets, there are some solutions capable of preventing tapeworms from affecting your pets. Some of them include:
Turmeric is thought to be a gut anti-inflammatory that supposedly enhances gut healing including tapeworm infestation.
Garlic is a natural preventative that tends to create a normal gut environment which is more likely to be inhospitable for immature larvae.
Pumpkin seeds are more likely to be one of the effective preventives for tapeworm infestation. It tends to physically debride the attached worms right from the lining of the intestine which, as a result, causes them to pass through the guts and go outside by the faces.
What’s The Way to Prevent Tapeworms in Dogs?
It’s not an uphill task to prevent tapeworms in dogs; you can do it with a little care and effort. Follow the ways mentioned below to prevent tapeworms in your dogs!
Use Flea and Tick Prevention
One of the most effective means you can use to prevent tapeworm infestation in your pets is through the use of approved flea prevention products consistently. There are a wide array of safe and effective products available out there which you can avail by both prescription and over-the-counter in oral as well as topical form.
Keeping a regular flea prevention schedule maintained regularly will considerably lessen the flea count in your home environment, protecting your poop against any kind of infestation of fleas. It becomes even more crucial when you get your dog to visit dog parks or other public places on a regular basis.
Practice Good Hygiene
Another preventive method to prevent tapeworms in dogs is to clean up your dog’s face. Yes, you’ve heard that right. By cleaning up your dog’s faces you can mitigate the feasibility for the tapeworm life cycle to be perpetuated there.
Considering proper hygiene, like hand washing on time, and encouraging this practice among your children is more likely to be a great preventive method for the spread of the tapeworm in your dogs, and humans as well.
That’s all there’s to it! That’s all about what tapeworms are in dogs along with the ways on how to prevent them. We did a proper assessment of the tapeworms in dogs and knew everything relating to it. Furthermore, we not only discussed the way to prevent it but how to get rid of tapeworms in dogs, too.
Hopefully, you get the most out of this article! If your dog is affected by tapeworms, you can visit Animal Hospital Pearland for a comprehensive treatment of your pets.