A common type of parasite that can infect local dogs is a tapeworm. Our Stuart veterinary team is going to talk about tapeworms in dogs today, covering topics such as the most common symptoms and available treatments.
Tapeworm Infection in Dogs
Tapeworms are segmented parasites that have a flat body and hook-like mouths that they use to attach themselves to the intestines of a dog that they have infected. They are capable of reaching a maximum length of 11 inches, and as they mature, they shed segments that are expelled from the host through the feces of the host.
Spotting Stool Tapeworms in Dogs
It is possible to observe tapeworms moving through the feces of an infected animal or on the anal hairs of an infected animal.
How Tapeworms in Dogs Spread
It is not a cause for alarm if your dog consumes fertilized tapeworm eggs because, in contrast to other parasites, there is no danger that the dog will become infected if it does so. Instead, in order for a dog to become infected with a tapeworm, the parasite must first have traveled through the digestive system of a flea. In the event that a dog decides to eat a flea that is bothering them, the dog runs the risk of unknowingly ingesting tapeworm eggs that the flea had previously consumed. The tapeworm that was inside the flea will hatch as the flea is digested, and it will then be able to wreak havoc on your dog's digestive system.
Are tapeworms in dogs dangerous?
The presence of tapeworms in a dog's body will likely cause it to be uncomfortable, but it won't be a life-threatening emergency in any case. If a puppy's growing intestines are unable to keep up with the demands of a large population of tapeworms, the problem can become more severe and more frequent.
How Tapeworms in Dogs are Diagnosed
If you notice your dog beginning to scoot around the house, this may be a sign that they have tapeworms. In an effort to alleviate the irritation caused by the parasite, they will drag their behinds along the ground. This is not a foregone conclusion; however, there are numerous hypotheses that could account for why dogs scoot.
By examining the white or golden worms that may be present in your dog's feces, your veterinarian will be able to take a more comprehensive approach to the problem. Because passing worm segments only happens now and then and not on a consistent basis, a fecal exam performed once a year is likely to miss them. As a consequence of this, dog owners should consult their veterinarian if they notice anything out of the ordinary in their dog's feces, and they should also keep a sample of the stool for the veterinarian to analyze in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in Dogs
Modern anti-parasite medications can quickly and safely kill the parasite inside your dog and disintegrate the corpses, allowing them to pass through their anus. This means that dogs who have been diagnosed with tapeworms have a relatively easy road to recovery ahead of them. They shouldn't be detectable at this point because they've been broken up, and your dog shouldn't have any undue discomfort passing them as they shouldn't be there anymore.