What are Tapeworms?
Tapeworms are flat, white, segmented worms that attach themselves to your dog’s intestines. The most common type of tapeworm typically makes it to your dog through an infected flea. Fleas can often carry the tapeworm’s larvae and if ingested by your dog, an adult tapeworm can grow inside his intestines.
What are the Symptoms of Tapeworms?
Tapeworms can grown from 4 to 28 inches long; as it grows, some of the segments fall off and pass through your dog’s feces. The segments can also be found crawling near your dog’s anus or on his bedding. These segments will dry out and die becoming hard, yellow speckles that can stick to the fur of your dog.
If your dog has tapeworms you may see him scooting his bottom across the floor or licking his rear more often than usual. Rarely, but possible, your dog may vomit up a tapeworm. Your dog may also begin to lose weight.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Tapeworms
Your veterinarian can diagnose whether or not your dog has tapeworms by testing a sample his feces.
If it is confirmed that your furry friend is infected with tapeworms, your vet will prescribe medication, in the form or a shot or tablet, to treat them. De-worming medicine essentially dissolves the worms so you won’t see them in your dogs feces.
Tapeworms can be easily prevented by giving your dog flea medication, putting a flea collar on them, or making sure your yard is flea free through the use of sprays or powders.
Don’t let your pup run off, they will likely end up somewhere that the flea population is not controlled.
Clean up after your dog after her uses the bathroom, whether it be in your yard or a public park or walking area.
If you have any further questions, or if you suspect your dog may have tapeworms, call your veterinarian to set up and exam immediately.