The source of the infestation is a flea that has been swallowed by your pet or a dog that eats infected food. The flea gets the Tapeworm in its system by swallowing it during its larval stages, when the larvae eat the eggs that have been passed from pets that are already infested with Tapeworms.
In spite of their prevalence Tapeworms are not a significant cause of disease in dogs and cats. Most pets do not have any symptoms, and if symptoms are present, are mild in nature. Some pets will itch at their anus when the worms cause irritation as they pass.
Most Tapeworms are diagnosed by visualizing the worm in your pets feces, crawling around its anus, or in its bedding. Tapeworms segments crawling on your dog’s anus might cause scooting, although full anal sacs are a much more common cause of scooting. They come in long attachments that usually break off into individual pieces when they exit from your pet. They usually look like pieces of white rice and turn yellow after they have been out of the body for a while.
Several medications are available that are highly effective at ridding you pet of Tapeworms. The most common treatment is an injection that rids your pet of all Tapeworms within 24 hours. It does nothing to prevent your pet from re-infecting itself. Proper flea control does.
Since fleas are directly responsible for this infestation their control is apparent. We recommend advantage and Program for safe, economical, convenient, and highly effective flea prevention. A new product, called Revolution, will kill fleas, heartworms, ear mites, and even internal parasites. Please ask our receptionist for a brochure.
Children can pick up Tapeworms from eating fleas, but it rarely causes any problem. Other species of Tapeworms exist that have significant potential to cause serious disease in people. Fortunately, we do not encounter them in our local area in dogs and cats.
Contact us to discuss a tailored heartworm prevention program for your cat.