What are the causes of Tapeworms in Dogs?

Tapeworms are parasites that depend on an intermediate host to survive. They are transmitted to dogs by fleas. Immature fleas (larvae) ingest the worm eggs and contamination is passed on to a canine when the canine swallows a tainted insect. This is often one of the reasons why it’s critical to treat your puppy for insects as well as for worms.

The insect is the intermediate host in the cycle of transmission of tapeworms, which means that your dog will not be contaminated by eating poop that contains tapeworm eggs.

Some of the factors causing tapeworms in dogs:

  • The larval stage develops within the insect, rabbit or mouse, which serve as the intermediate of the host.
  • Canines cannot be contaminated by eating fertilized eggs; the eggs ought to pass through the have and after that the puppy eats the host.
  • Tapeworm eggs are discharged into the environment and after that consumed
  • Eating raw or undercooked beef, pork, or fish infected with tapeworm

What are the Symptoms of Tapeworms in Dogs?

Dogs can very possibly carry the tapeworm and do not show symptoms even for a few months. It can take months or years for signs to start.

  • Sickness
  • Diarrhea
  • Potbelly in puppies
  • Weight loss
  • Poor coat quality
  • Weakness
  • Loss of energy
  • Sore bottom

Are tapeworms dangerous for my dog?

Generally, tapeworms don’t cause grave issues in pooches. The manifest of tapeworms generally includes an itchy bottom, vomiting and weight loss. As a common sign, dogs may drag their bottoms on the ground, which is called scooting. However, a dog may be scooting for a few other reasons as well. In puppies, overwhelming tapeworm invasion can be more serious. A puppy infested with tapeworms may show slow growth, frail body and intestinal blockage.

What are the Types of Tapeworms in Dogs?

Dipylidium caninum:

Dipylidium caninum is a common tapeworm of dogs and cats but is occasionally found in humans. It has many common names like flea tapeworm, cucumber tapeworm, and double-pored tapeworm.

Taenia hydatigena/Taenia multiceps:

These show up in the guts of the canine. The larval connects to the brain, organs or spinal line of pigs, sheep, and goats. It usually circulates in a cycle between dogs and herbivorous mammals, including sheep, goats, cattle, and horses. In case the pooch eats contaminated animals, he gets infected.

Taenia pisiformis/Taenia serialis:

A variety of mammals can act as intermediate hosts, usually wild rabbits and hares, but primates and even man can host the intermediate stage. A dog can acquire Taenia by consuming the waste carrying infective stage of larva or even eating the prey.


Dogs will get the tapeworm contamination in case they devour natural life or animal scraps like elk, sheep, or cattle. It is a parasitic disease caused by infection with tiny tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus.


This sort of tapeworm is contracted from expanding natural life scraps and from eating undercooked or crude fish. Safe and effective medications are available to treat Diphyllobothrium infection.

How Is a Tapeworm Infection Diagnosed?

Your vet will give your dog a thorough examination and take a full history from you. Doctors will collect and examine some samples on 3 different days to check for tapeworm eggs or pieces of worms. They may also do a:

  • blood test
  • Fecal tests
  • Colonoscopy
  • Tape tests
  • Imaging tests

If you suspect that your dog has an intestinal worm, you should visit your nearest vet.

Treatment of Tapeworms in Dogs

The treatment for tapeworms is simple and very effective. It depends upon the vet’s diagnosis. A prescription drug, praziquantel is often suggested by veterinary doctors for treatment of tapeworms in dogs. The dosage is set basis the dog's weight and other factors. Though it is considered to be a safe medicine, it is advisable to not self medicate the dogs with it, specially in pregnant dogs and puppies. Forms of treatment that can be managed at home may involve the use of:-

  • Tablets
  • Powders
  • Chews
  • Pastes
  • Spot-on treatments

Pet parents must realize that this treatment doesn’t mean prevention of future infections. Thus, a regular check for symptoms and deworming treatments is necessary.

Are There Any Home Remedies for Tapeworms in Dogs?

There are no proven facts on home remedies. Tapeworms need a proven treatment after proper diagnosis. However, certain home remedies that are effective in treating and preventing tapeworms in dogs include addition of certain things in their diet:

  • Garlic
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Turmeric

Pet parents need to take a few important measures to see that their pets do not get re-infected with tapeworms. It is important to ensure a hygienic environment for the furry pal, where there are no fleas. The control of insects and lice is the perfect way to prevent the disease from the dipylidium caninum. Make a habit of keeping your yard clean. Do not hesitate to ask for advice from your veterinary team at any time during the deworming process.

How to Spot Tapeworms in Dog Poop?

Tapeworm proglottids may usually be seen shaking around the anal opening as they exit the abdominal tract. After they dry out, they may resemble dried grains of rice attached to the fur around the anus. The proglottid segments may also be visible on or in freshly passed feces, again resembling grains of white rice. The proglottid pack contains tapeworm eggs, which are not visible to the naked eye.

Can Humans Get Tapeworms From Dogs?

Transmission of tapeworm infestation in humans is relatively uncommon, as it would require the human to ingest an infected flea. This occurs slightly more often in children, usually in environments where good personal hygiene is not practiced or with heavy flea infestations in the home or yard.

How To Prevent Tapeworms in Dogs?

  • Remember that fleas are the key cause, control them both on your dog and in your home and yard. Use flea prevention products regularly.
  • Talk to your vet about flea spray, powder, collars, oral medication, or topical liquid treatments.
  • Work with your vet to keep your dog on a de-worming plan.
  • Don’t let your dog roam unsupervised, especially in places where other dogs or animals have been roaming.
  • Clean up after your pet, especially in your yard and in parks