If you have pets at home or want to adopt a pet in the future, familiarizing yourself with these 10 tapeworm facts will help you be informed in case you come across these gnarly buggers near or on your pet or in or near their feces.
These intestinal parasites can cause a lot of problems for your pet and we’re here to shed light on these nasty creatures.
What You’ll Learn in This Article About Tapeworms…
First, we want to help you understand what tapeworms are and what pets can get them.
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 and prolonged suffering for your pet.
10 Tapeworm Facts
- Dogs and cats of all ages can both get tapeworm.
- When a pet has tapeworm, they may show signs like weight loss or vomiting, or they may not show any symptoms at all – strange, right?
- Tapeworms attach to your pet’s intestines and feed, depriving your pet of nutrition.
- These worms can grow up to 24″ long!
- As they grow, off-white segments drop off – those are what you see in the picture.
- These small segments can reproduce, causing more tapeworms.
- Segments can look like rice or grains of sand – and they move!
- Tapeworms can be transmitted by fleas. If your pet has fleas, even one, your pet can get tapeworm.
- Rats, mice and birds can also contain tapeworm larvae.
- Dogs can get tapeworm if they eat cat poop (or poop from other animals) that contains the worms or larvae! Just one more reason to clean up the yard frequently and to keep cat litter boxes scooped daily.
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.
*After your dog poops in the yard, clean it up immediately.
*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 for Tapeworms
Take your pet to the veterinarian at the first sign of tapeworm.
If you notice any change in your pet’s behavior, weight loss/gain or other physical problems such as urinary issues (peeing more, straining more), constipation or vision/hearing problems your pet may have intestinal parasites such as tapeworm but may not have expelled any outside of their body yet (gross, I know).
The veterinarian may want you to bring in a fecal sample, it’s easy, just wear gloves, take a ziplock baggie and wait for them to poop – then pick it real quick and double bag it to help keep the smell down then take it to your vet.
On occasion, the vet can 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 Kelley at 765-744-5688 or send a message through this link if you prefer.
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. !!GROSS ALERT!! Ever see tapeworms in action? If not, check out the video below. Don’t worry, it’s only 15 seconds.