Pet Health

10 Tapeworm Facts – When to Visit the Veterinarian

It’s not everyday when you come across an article about tapeworm facts so here goes. Be warned: you may get the heeby-jeebies but think what it feels like for your pet…not pleasant, right?

These intestinal parasites can cause a lot of problems for your pet and we’re here to shed light on these nasty creatures. Our goal is to do 3 things. First, we want to help you understand what tapeworms are. Second, we want you to know what you can do to prevent them and lastly, we want to stress the importance of regular veterinarian care. Home remedies often do not work and can cause more damage.

10 Tapeworm Facts

10 Tapeworm facts every pet parent should know.
  1. Dogs and cats of all ages can both get tapeworm.
  2. When a pet has tapeworm, they may show signs like weight loss or vomiting, or they may not.
  3. Tapeworms attach to your pet’s intestines and feed, depriving your pet of nutrition.
  4. These worms can grow up to 24″ long!
  5. As they grow, off-white segments drop off – those are what you see in the picture.
  6. These small segments can reproduce, causing more tapeworms.
  7. Segments can look like rice or grains of sand – and they move!
  8. Tapeworms can be transmitted by fleas.
  9. Rats, mice and birds can also contain tapeworm larvae.
  10. Dogs can get tapeworm if they eat cat poop (or poop from other animals) that contains the worms or larvae!

How to Prevent Tapeworms

Keep your pet on flea preventative since fleas are common carriers.

Try to keep your pet from eating road kill, birds, rabbits or rodents.

Vacuum and clean the areas where your pet spends time in your home.

Don’t let your dog eat cat poop (or other poop).

When to Take Your Pet to the Veterinarian

Take your pet to the veterinarian at the first sign of tapeworm. Or if you notice any change in your pet’s behavior, weightloss/gain or other physical problems such as urinary issues (peeing more, straining more), constipation, vision/hearing problems. Your veterinarian will get a fecal sample from your pet and determine exactly what kind of parasite(s) they have. Your pet may be suffering from other worms that you haven’t seen yet.

Your Professional Pet Sitter Can Help Keep An Eye On Your Pet

As a professional pet sitter I’m often the one that sees worms, fleas, skin irritation, ear gunk and other issues before the pet parent. When I notice something that’s off, I contact my client.

Worms and flea sightings are the most common things I see in this line of work and luckily our clients address the issues pretty quickly once I contact them (thanks clients!).


Feel free to contact us at 765-744-5688 or send a message through this link if you prefer.

Request pet care services at this link.

We visit pets in Muncie, Yorktown, Anderson, Hartford City, New Castle and most cities in between.

Here’s to Healthier Pets,

Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!”

P.S. Ever see tapeworms in action? If not, check out the video below. Don’t worry, it’s only 15 seconds.