Causes, Treatments, and Prevention of Dog Tapeworms

Does My Dog Have Tapeworms?

You’ve probably heard about tapeworms if you own a dog. They’re small parasites that live in your dog’s intestines. They usually don’t cause any severe issues and are simple to treat.

Where Do They Come From?

Tapworms come in a variety of forms, but the most common is caused by swallowing a small infected flea. Fleas can carry larvae or babies of tapeworms. An mature tapeworm can grow within your dog’s intestines if he swallows it, maybe while grooming himself.

Tapeworms are white worms with tiny segments that are flat and white. Each element is the size of a grain of rice. Tapeworms use hook-like suckers to attach themselves to the gut walls of your dog. After that, they begin to feed and grow.

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A tapeworm can reach a length of 4 to 8 inches. The adult worm is likely to be included. Some of its parts fall off as it grows and pass through your dog’s feces. These small bits may be found crawling along your dog’s bottom or on their bedding. It’s also possible that you’ll notice them moving around in their poop.

These segments wither and perish. Then there are the hard, yellow specks that can attach to your dog’s bottom fur.

Some dogs may scoot, dragging their bottoms across the floor, or lick their behinds excessively because they are unpleasant.

If the tapeworm segments make their way into your dog’s stomach, they can make them vomit, though this is unlikely. Then you might notice a worm in your dog’s vomit (around 5 to 8 inches long).

Even if your dog is eating properly, they may lose weight if they have a serious tapeworm illness.

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After 1) seeing segments crawling on your dog or 2) finding segments or eggs in your dog’s excrement under a microscope, your veterinarian will confirm the diagnosis. Because tapeworm segments and eggs are not passed every time your dog poos, multiple samples may be required.


Tapeworms in dogs can be treated with a variety of safe prescription drugs. Your veterinarian will select the best option for your dog. These anti-worming medications can be taken orally or as a shot. Because the drug dissolves the worms, you won’t see them when your dog goes to the potty.

In most cases, tapeworms can be avoided by following a few simple steps:

  • Fleas are the main cause, so keep them under control on your dog as well as in your home and yard. Flea spray, powder, collars, oral medication, and topical liquid treatments should all be discussed with your veterinarian.
  • Maintain a de-worming program for your dog with the help of your veterinarian.
  • Don’t let your dog roam unsupervised, especially in places where other dogs or animals have been.
  • Especially in your yard and at parks, clean up after your pet.

People can obtain tapeworms through their dogs, albeit it’s rare. You must consume an infected flea. This is especially common among children. Always wash your hands after playing with animals or outside to be safe.

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