Treating Tapeworms In Your Dogs

Tapeworms in dogs and cats dwell inside the intestines and are released in feces. Nine species of Taenia tapeworms exist in North America, and seven of them can rely on dog or cat hosts.
Tapeworms in dogs and cats dwell inside the intestines and are released in feces. Nine species of Taenia tapeworms exist in North America, and seven of them can rely on dog or cat hosts. | Source

We are what I call a "dog family". Besides our 2 border collies, my sons also have dogs - one has 3 pit-bulls and the other a pit-bull boxer? breed puppy. We have had dogs for years and have had the unfortunate experience of our dogs also having tapeworms - and needing treatment for them. Although having tapeworms is a pretty gross thing, tapeworms are actually a fairly common and easily treated parasite in dogs. How to know whether or not your dog has tapeworms?

Well that's pretty gross too but you have to check their poop. That's usually one of the first signs you will see that your dog has worms.

Poll on tapeworms in dogs

Has your dog ever had tapeworms?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I'm not sure
  • I don't have a dog
  • I'm not sure but I'm going to check now!
See results without voting

Indy the Border Collie puppy

Indy just got treated for a tapeworm infection. She is a 6 month old tri-color smooth coat Border Collie Tapeworm eggs can be found in fleas which then infect dogs if fleas are ingested.
Indy just got treated for a tapeworm infection. She is a 6 month old tri-color smooth coat Border Collie Tapeworm eggs can be found in fleas which then infect dogs if fleas are ingested. | Source

Signs and symptoms of tapeworms in dogs

Tapeworms is just one of the worm parasites that your dog can get. It is probably one of the most common though because it is caused by your dog either ingesting a flea or munching on an animal carcass that has tapeworms in it. In our case, since we live in sunny California, fleas are the way that our dogs contracted tapeworms, as we have an ongoing battle with fleas and a very large backyard to treat.

The symptoms of a dog with tapeworm infestation:

  • Anal itchiness (pruritus at and around the anus)
  • Licking of the anal area and surrounding areas.
  • Scooting with their backside
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Dull and/or dry hair coat
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal pain (this is uncommon though)
  • Appearance of small moving worm segments in the dogs feces (when dried these look like grains of rice)

    In our case, the first sign that there was something wrong with our dog was the extreme itchiness he had around his anal area. Because our dog is allergic to just about everything under the sun, I at first mistakenly thought it was because he had got into something with corn it it (he is highly allergic to anything with corn)

    One day while he was outside though and going to the bathroom, I happened to notice something moving in his poop - and after looking closer there were small white segments of worms in it (yuck) Needless to say I was highly grossed out, and after reading up on this I realized that his itchiness had to do with worms, not allergies.

The causes of tapeworms in dogs

The best way to not get tapeworms in your dogs is to keep your surrounding areas totally flea free, but for most of us that is almost impossible if your dog goes outside a lot or goes on trips with you. Although we treat our dogs with Frontline pretty faithfully, apparently a flea surge in our yard this summer caused more fleas than normal (fleas go crazy breeding when it's hot) All it takes is for your dog to swallow one flea that has tapeworm eggs in it and your dog is now at high risk for being a host for the nasty little parasites.

It's also important if you have free roaming dogs to keep them away from eating any rotting animal carcasses, as these can have tapeworm larvae in them too (The thought of my dog eating an animal carcass - just yuck yuck yuck)

Treating your dog for tapeworms

The treatment for tapeworms is pretty easy - you can buy liquid dewormer or give your dogs chewable pills. Since my other son had not had total success with the liquid wormer, my husband and I decided to buy these 12 pack of chewable tablets: Triple Wormer by Durvet. The chewable tablets we got at our local feed supply (you can also order them cheaper on Amazon) We decided to use triple wormer since it covers elimination of not only tapeworms but also hookworms and roundworms.

Our theory was better to treat for all 3 commons worms and eliminate the possibility of any of these parasites in our dogs. You give the dog one or two tablets depending on body weight (make sure you get the right pack for your dogs size) and make sure you read the label for dosing instructions.

Within 24 hours the worms start to come out in the dogs feces and one dose should be enough. If using the liquid wormer, you usually need to re-treat your dogs according to the manufacturers instructions.

More by this Author


Comments 2 comments

Winter Maclen profile image

Winter Maclen 3 years ago from Illinois

Interesting article. This year summer was really hot and dry in Chicagoland so we changed our four dogs from a topical flea treatment to a chew that treats fleas as well as all types of worms and luckily that covers everything.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Hey Winter what is the name of that? That sounds like something we would like to use.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working