Getting rid of tapeworms in dogs

How does a dog get tapeworms? Dogs can be infected with tapeworms (Taenia pisiformis, Echinococcus multilocularis, Echinococcus granulosus and  Dipylidium caninum) by ingesting any number of intermediate hosts. This is especially a concern for urban dogs that spend a lot of time around other dogs, or outdoors with their owners going hunting, camping, hiking or just living on a farm.1

Many tapeworm infections in dogs typically do not cause significant disease, but tapeworm symptoms may include:2

  • Intestinal impactions
  • Skin irritation near the anus
  • Scooting

When animals like rabbits, rodents, deer or sheep consume tapeworm eggs from infected grass or soil, the eggs develop into larvae and migrate to form cysts within the animal’s tissues. Dogs become infected when they ingest the larval cysts from these animals. These larvae mature into adults, attach themselves to the lining of the dog’s small intestine and lay packets of eggs, which are shed in the feces.1

If you see what looks like small grains of rice on your dog’s rear or in his feces, there’s a good chance your dog has a tapeworm infection, and you should go see your veterinarian.

Learn about controlling tapeworms