Tapeworm Deworm 101
Though one treatment is usually all that is necessary to treat an infection, the only way to prevent your pet from getting tapeworms is consistent flea prevention
by Dr. Christine Becker, PetIQ Veterinarian
Tapeworm infections can be treated with injectable Praziquantel (administered in the clinic), or (for some pets) oral or topical medications available to take home. One treatment is usually all that is necessary to clear your pet of a current tapeworm infection, but in some cases a repeat treatment may be recommended by your veterinarian.
Tapeworm dewormers treat active tapeworm infections. Tapeworms, especially Dipylidium Caninum, are common intestinal parasites in dogs and cats. Dogs and cats become infected with this parasite by ingesting an infected flea, usually by grooming. Adult tapeworms live in the pet’s small intestines. The pet passes tapeworm segments and eggs in their feces. Tapeworms are most often diagnosed by visualizing tapeworm segments, (proglottids,) in the pet’s feces, on the fur around the pet’s anus, or on surfaces where the pet sleeps. These can look like dried sesame seeds, or may look like a flattened grain of rice. They may or may not be moving. If your pet is infected with tapeworms, most often they will not act sick; however, they may also experience weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, or poor haircoat. We offer tapeworm treatment for dogs and cats, either as an injection in-clinic or simple medications to take home. Most tapeworm infections only require a single treatment, but your veterinarian may recommend repeating the treatment in some cases. The only way to prevent your pet from getting tapeworms is consistent flea prevention. We offer tapeworm treatment for dogs and cats either as an in-clinic injection or as a simple oral or topical medication to take home, depending on the pet and veterinarian recommendation.
It is common for dogs and cats to become infected with tapeworms by ingesting an infected flea while grooming. Pets often do not act sick when they are infected with tapeworms. Signs of a tapeworm infection may be simply the visualization of tapeworm segments, or proglottids, in the feces, fur around the anus, or bedding of infected pets. In more severe cases, a pet with tapeworms may experience weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, or poor haircoat. Treatment usually only requires one dose of medication, but may vary depending on vet recommendation. Prevention of tapeworm infections requires consistent flea control.
If you suspect your pet has tapeworms, please stop by our clinic to discuss options for diagnosis and treatment. Humans can also become infected with tapeworms by ingesting a flea. For questions about tapeworms in humans, please contact your physician.