Animal Hospital of West Port St. Lucie

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TAPEWORMS

Cestodiasis in our Pets

Cestodiasis is the medical term for tapeworm infestation.  Tapeworms typically settle in the small intestine of dogs, puppies, and other pets.  They are long, flat worms that attach themselves to the intestines.  

SYMPTOMS OF A TAPEWORM INFESTATION

As the tapeworm grows, pieces of it break off into segments and pass into the dog's intestines.  You may see dried, white to cream colored segments, or pieces, of tapeworm in the pet's feces or in the fur under the tail.  Some tapeworm species break off into segments that are too small to see, while the segments of other tapeworm species will resemble sesame or cucumber seeds in size and appearance.  Still other species of worm will pass into the feces ad can be readily seen.  Dogs may bite or lick the anus, or drag their hind quarters across the floor in response to the itching. 

CAUSES

Tapeworms are acquired by ingesting the immediate host containing larvae.  Tapeworms frequently ingested through adult fleas.  Other sources that are potential transmitters, and that a dog is likely to ingest, include rabbits, birds and rodents.  Scavenging may also lad to an infestation of tapeworms. 

HOW DO I PREVENT MY DOG FROM GETTING TAPEWORMS