Dog tapeworms, an owners guide to tapeworms in dogs

Tapeworms in dogs are parasites that invade the intestinal tract. Once there, they attach themselves to the inner walls of the intestine. Unlike hookworms, they don’t suck blood. However, they can be transmitted to humans, so dogs should be treated as quickly as possible. You may be wondering how dog tapeworms can be passed along in the first place.


Once infected, canines shed segments during bowel movements. These segments then release eggs which may be eaten by flea larvae. Dogs can then consume the infected flea whenever they cause itching that makes them lick or chew. Once your dog has swallowed the infected flea, eggs will be released into the digestive system and then hatch.


Dogs with tapeworms don’t usually experience noticeable symptoms. You will only know something is amiss if you spot the small, white segments yourself. These segments may be in bedding, carpet, around your dog’s anus, or anywhere on his fur.

As the segments dry out, they will turn golden. They start bothering your dog after drying out, so you may notice him licking himself a lot. He will especially lick around the anus. He may even scoot across the floor. Your dog may start vomiting if the worms detach from the intestinal wall and travel into the stomach. Weight loss results if the infection becomes too severe.


Veterinarians can easily determine if your dog has tapeworms. He will collect a stool sample and examine it under a microscope. The small segments will easily be visible under the microscope. After a definitive diagnosis has been made, treatment will usually begin immediately.


There are various ways to treat tapeworms in dogs. The worms can be dissolved by using either oral or injected medications. Treatment also entails eliminating fleas, since they play a vital role in transmission. Fleas can be controlled using powders, collars, or topical ointments.