ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Can tapeworms be transmitted to humans?

Updated on February 18, 2012

A number of germs and viruses can be picked up by humans from their pets. Some dogs would carry these viruses and bacteria without showing symptoms and without being ill. But when transmitted to humans, these zoonotic diseases can make people suffer tremendously. Tapeworm infection is common in dogs. This is not a life threatening concern but this parasitic infestation can make the dog extremely uncomfortable. What is most disturbing is the fact that this type of internal parasite infestation can be transmitted to humans.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorensztajer/4526779143/sizes/z/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbyt/388910501/sizes/z/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/2135670199/sizes/z/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/19613690@N05/3688260189/sizes/z/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/4736417553/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorensztajer/4526779143/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorensztajer/4526779143/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbyt/388910501/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbyt/388910501/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/2135670199/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/2135670199/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/19613690@N05/3688260189/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/19613690@N05/3688260189/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/4736417553/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/4736417553/sizes/z/in/photostream/

What is a tapeworm?

Tapeworms are one of the intestinal parasites of dogs. These are long, flat and segmented parasites that attached their hook-like mouth to the small intestine of the dog. This white colored worm can measure up to 20 cm in length. The body is divided into multiple segments, each one having its own reproductive organ.

Symptoms of tapeworm infestation

Segments of tapeworm that look like rice grains on the feces and on the anus of the dog are the most obvious symptom of infestation. Generally, dogs infested with tapeworms would not show signs of being ill. This is not a life threatening disease. Severe infestation though can affect the well being of the pet. Tapeworms would cause the dog to loss its appetite, to have abdominal pains, to vomit and to have diarrhea. Dogs are energetic animals but an infected one would be lethargic.

How is tapeworm transmitted to dogs?

Different species of tapeworm can infect dogs. Dipylidium caninum is the most common in dogs. This type of tapeworm has fleas as its intermediary host. The fleas will eat feces of infected dogs. The ingested tapeworm eggs will turn into cysticercoids when they hatch in the stomach of the fleas. The flea will come in contact with another dog and gets swallowed when the dog chewed the itchy skin. The cysticercoids will develop into adult worms and attach their hook-like mouth to the intestines. The cycle continues when the segments of the adult tapeworm falls off, excreted with the feces and eaten by another flea. The Taenia and Echinococcus species make use of other animals as their intermediate host. The dog will be infested when it hunts and eats small rodents, rabbits and large animals such as deer or sheep.

How is tapeworm transmitted to humans?

Tapeworms can be transmitted to humans but it is not a very common occurrence. The same as with dogs, tapeworms will be transmitted to humans if a tapeworm egg-carrying flea is ingested. Given the way humans maintain hygiene, ingestion of flea would be very rare. However, it cannot be denied that it is a possibility. This occurrence was noted to be more common in children. Unaware of the risk, children would kiss and cuddle the pet and in so doing would ingest a flea. Children would be more susceptible to the infestation because of their weak immune system.

Preventing tapeworm infestation

A flea is the most common intermediate host of tapeworms. An effective flea control technique is therefore necessary.  Over the counter worming medications are available but a vet consult would be necessary for the right dosage to eradicate the infestation.     

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)