Tapeworms are also scientifically named Dipylidium caninum. They are just one of the five kinds of worms that pets may get infested with.
The "tapeworm" name comes from the shape of this parasite. This worm looks like a flat tape that measure between 50and 70cm in length. This tapeworm gets attached to the intestines of the dog.
There he feeds on the animal. The good thing about this tape worm is that humans can not get it just from direct contact with the pet. The pets usually get this parasite up by eating infected fleas. So, it is better to prevent and treat the pet for flees form time to time.
Diagnosis and Symptoms
The tapeworms are quite easy to detect and they are common. Some of the main symptoms include loss of weight and appetite, a bit of nervousness, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
The tapeworms in dogs are sometimes visible. You can still find some worms or pieces of them around the anus and in fecal matter. If the feces look like having some rice in them, that means the dog is infested.
Before treatment, first come prevention measures. Make sure the dog is treated from fleas from time to time. This will make sure the dog doesn't get infested. The treatment for the tapeworms has two stages of severity. The early stage, less severe, means the dog is still full of energy and is playful. In this case, a simple over the counter de-worming treatment will easily clean out the parasite in many cases.
A very common medicine for treating the tapeworms is the Praziquantel (Droncit) and can be bought from the local pet stores.
During the later and the severe stage of tapeworms' infestation, the pet has signs of acute distress, is quite inactive and has lost some weight. Take the pet straight to the professional veterinarian. In this case, the vet will give the pet an injection or a liquid-based chemical to be ingested.
No matter what the stage is, you have to pay attention to the feces and make sure there are no tapeworms there. Even after treatment, notice the feces and monitor any symptoms of infestation that may appear.
Never forget that the best way to get away from a tapeworm infestation is to prevent them from reaching your dogs. Besides constant fleas' treatment, make sure you don't leave your dog in places where the living conditions are not right or there are no people to take care of the pet.
Also make sure your pet mingles with other pets that are healthy. Don't let the pet get next to pets that show signs of illnesses or have a poor hygiene.