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Tapeworms are long, flat worms that inhabit the intestines and gastrointestinal tract of pets and other "hosts." They do so because tapeworms have no digestive system. There are five primary types of tapeworms in pets: dipylidium caninum, taenia, Echinococcus granulosus, Diphyllobothrium latum and Spirometra mansonoides. Checking for, treating and preventing tapeworms is imperative for ensuring your dog's long-term health.
Determine if your pet might have tapeworms. Symptoms of tapeworms in dogs include vomiting, scratching near one's rear and dragging one's rear across the floor. Also, you can check your pet's feces to look for evidence of tapeworms. Tapeworms are often small, flat and white.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian to de-worm your pet, as it is the most effective form of treatment. The five primary types of tapeworms in dogs each tend to feature their own kind of specialized treatment. For instance, praziquantel is most commonly used for treating D. Caninum tapeworm, while Drontal Plus is used more often to treat Taenia tapeworms. Your veterinarian will be able to determine which form of treatment is ideal for your pet.
Take precautions to prevent tapeworms. The primary way in which pet owners can do so is by ensuring flea and tick prevention in their dogs. Flea collars, flea baths and over-the-counter medications are some of the ways in which dog owners can take a proactive approach in preventing fleas/ticks in their pets, thereby lowering the risk of tapeworm infestation.
Prevent certain tapeworms from infecting your pet. For instance, don't allow your dog to eat raw meat or prey on wild animals and/or rodents. These raw meats can serve as hosts for tapeworms, which will be transmitted to your dog upon digesting the meat.