Does My Dog Have Tapeworms?

Increased appetite is a sign of intestinal parasites in a dog.

Tapeworms are an intestinal parasite that can affect cats, dogs and other pets. These parasites can cause serious discomfort for your pet, in addition to robbing the animal’s body of nutrients.

The most common species of tapeworms affecting dogs is called Dipylidium Caninum. There are several ways that a dog can contract tapeworms, including ingesting the feces of an affected animal and by ingesting fleas or flea eggs. (Notably, only some fleas carry tapeworms.)

Symptoms of Tapeworms in a Dog

One of the most common tip-offs that a dog has worms: white worms in the dog’s feces. Tapeworms are similar in appearance to a grain of rice; they can also move for a short period of time after they’re expelled from the pet’s body. They can often be found in the dog’s fur, near the pet’s rear end. Once they dry up, they look like a grain of rice.

The following are among the most common signs of tapeworms in a dog:

  • Chronic diarrhea;
  • Weight loss;
  • Increased appetite;
  • “Scooting” — the dog may drag his bum on the floor;
  • White worms in the dog’s feces;
  • White worms crawling in the dog’s fur near his hind quarters; and
  • Dried worms in the dog’s fur (they look like grains of rice, stuck in the dog’s fur).

The worms that are expelled in a dog’s feces are actually just a small fragment of the tapeworm parasite, which can reach several feet in length. The tapeworm will regenerate unless the head segment is destroyed.

Tapeworms are not quite as aggressive as some other intestinal parasites, but nevertheless, it’s important to treat an infested pet. Your veterinarian can prescribe a dewormer medication or you may opt to purchase an over-the-counter dog deworming product like Cestex, Drontal Plus, Droncit, Telmintic, and Vercom.

If you have more than one pet, it’s wise to treat all of your animals at once, as there’s a good chance that they’re all infested with tapeworms; this will result in re-infestation.

Vist the PetLvr archives for more pet care articles.

Photo Source: Alessandro Paiva on

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Mia Carter is a professional journalist and animal lover. Her furry family members include 6 dogs and 12 cats. She is also a feral cat colony caretaker. Carter specializes in pet training and special needs pet care. All of her animals have special needs such as paralysis, blindness, deafness and FIV, just to name a few. She also serves as a pet foster parent and she actively rehabilitates and rescues local strays and feral kittens.

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    I am glad I found this artilce on Does My Dog Have Tapeworms? I have been triying to find out what the Symptoms of Tapeworms in a Dog. Our dog has been eating alot more lately and draging her behind. It seems like she is always hungrey. I am going to have to take a look into this today and make sure I don’t see anything.
    Thanks for the tips!

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