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Tapeworms in Dogs

Tapeworms are long, flat, segmented worms that live in the small intestine and rarely cause serious disease. Each worm has a head that remains attached to the intestine and numerous egg-filled segments that break off and are passed with the feces when fully mature. These segments look like cream-coloured maggots when expelled and resemble tiny particles of rice stuck to a hair when dried out. They are easy to spot in fresh feces and around the anus. Tapeworms are transmitted to your dog when it eats fleas. To prevent tapeworms, try to keep your dog from coming into contact with intermediate hosts that contain tapeworm larvae including fleas, mice, and other rodents. Dogs that live in rural and suburban area have access to wild animals that are host to tapeworms, which increase the exposure.

Symptoms of Tapeworms in Dogs

  • failure to digest and absorb food normally
  • malaise
  • irritability
  • variable appetite
  • shaggy coat
  • mild diarrhea
  • colic
  • emaciation and seizures (in serious cases only)

Additional Support

Take your dog to the vet for an accurate diagnosis if you suspect he/she has tapeworms. Once treated, it's important to keep their living area free of fleas.  To control tapeworms treatment and prevention are extremely important.

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