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Tapeworms in Dogs: 12 Symptoms and Treatments


Most pet guardians have been warned about tapeworms. These parasites are fairly common in domesticated animals, and take hold in the pet’s intestines. There are many different varieties of tapeworms that affect dogs, but the most common type is found in fleas, and they enter the dog’s body after it swallows an infected insect.

Tapeworms don’t usually cause serious health problems in dogs, but they can grow to relatively large sizes and spread through your pet’s intestines. As with most illnesses, prevention is the best management strategy, but given the commonness of tapeworm infections, it’s also a good idea to recognize the symptoms and understand the various treatment options that are available.

Symptoms of Tapeworms in Dogs

These are the six most common symptoms of tapeworms in dogs (note: treatment options are listed after the 6 symptoms below):

Symptom: Visible Worm Segments in Dog’s Bedding

Adult tapeworms are white worms with flat bodies that usually grow to lengths of 4 to 8 inches. They are made up of individual segments, and while it is very unlikely that you will encounter a full adult tapeworm, you may observe some of the segments that have detached from the worm’s body. In pet beds, these segments will usually be alive and squirming around.

If you spot narrow, flat, white segments of an organism in your dog’s bedding, chances are good that they came from an adult tapeworm that has infected your pet.

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