Tapeworms in dogs are a types of organism that infests the small intestine of dogs and other animals. Dipylidium caninum is the most common type of tapeworm that attacks the dogs especially.
The structure of this worm is flat and colored white. It can grow to a length of eight inches. The head of the tapeworm is flat with a hook like mouth with which it attaches itself to the small intestines. The body of the tapeworm is segmented which can disintegrate from the body at any time. The tail end is especially prone to breaking off and ejected from the dog’s body through bowel movement, they look like grains of rice. And this is how you get to discover whether your dog has tapeworms or not.
Sometimes the dog while killing flea from its body or from carpet or upholstery tend to consume a flea that might be contaminated with tapeworm eggs in its larvae. The tapeworm larvae get hatched while travelling through the digestive system of the dog and latches on to the small intestinal lining.
One or two tapeworm in your dog’s system will not cause any great harm. It is when this types of dog worms get larger in number that you will find your dog becoming lazy and losing weight. Another indication is that you will find your dog scooting its rear on the floor due to itching sensation in its rear. It can often happen that a detached part of the tapeworm might enter the stomach instead of passing into the stool.
In such a situation you will see your dog vomiting due to the irritation caused by the tapeworm part. This can cause the whole tapeworm to come out with the vomit which you can see clearly. These are some of the indications that you will observe if your dog has been attacked by this types of canine worms.
Diagnosing and Treatment
Diagnosing the presence of tapeworm is mostly done visually by either examining its stool or by the presence of tapeworm segment around the dog’s behind. Treatment of tapeworm is quite easy. There are drugs that can kill tapeworm which can be administered either orally or by injecting the drug into the dog.
After proper treatment you need to ensure that the dog is not attacked by tapeworm any further. Prevention can be done by keeping the environment clean and free of fleas in order to reduce the risk of infection once again. If your dog has tapeworm in his stool you should immediately remove the feces from the environment.
Humans can also be harmed by some species of tapeworm. The cases of children getting affected by tapeworms in dogs are very rare. Whatever might be the case these infection are easily treatable and there is no real danger associated with it.