Even the most beloved dog can get tapeworms from fleas.
Tapeworms are zoonotic. That is, they can be passed from animal to human. While humans sometimes get tapeworms from eating under cooked meat, tapeworms in dogs most likely come from ingesting fleas. A certain type of tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum, is found in the intestines of dogs. They are passed in the feces where fleas get their larvae, and then pass them on to the animal, usually while the dog or cat is licking himself. Tapes, as they are sometimes called, are easy to get rid of with the right medicine.
1. You can’t get tapeworms from your dog, but you can get tapeworms from your dog’s feces or fleas.
Check your dog’s feces if you are unsure your dog has tapeworms. Owners usually first see what appears to be small, white grains of rice moving about the rectum, tail area and stool. These are actually tapeworm segments which are filled with eggs. As the segments dry, the eggs break open and the tapeworms emerge. If you see these little rice-like egg sacks, bring a small sample (the size of a pea) to your vet for a fecal check.
2. Pineapples are a popular home remedy for people in the tropics who want to kill tapeworms. Dogs don’t eat pineapple.
Administer a dewormer. Droncit is available through Internet pet supply resources and through your veterinarian. Droncit is the most widely-used tapeworm remedy for dogs in the United States and its popularity is due to the fact that a single dose will rid your dog of tapeworms and tapeworm eggs. There are home remedies for humans with tapeworms, but many of the items on the list of home remedies are not good for dogs, or something dogs will not eat, such as pineapple.
3. Inspect your dog and his environment for signs of fleas. Treat the fleas in the environment and on your dog. To protect your dog from future tapeworm problems, administer a dose of an oral flea/tick medication that has ingredients that also kill internal parasites. Products such as Heartgard Plus, Revolution, Sentinal, Interceptor and others will kill both internal and external parasites.