Quite confused or baffled seeing those rice-shaped white segments in your pooch’s stool or around your kitty’s rectum. These are tapeworms, usually occurring in unprotected pets and are easily transmitted through fleas, mice or rabbits. If you have an impression that a flea bite can cause tapeworm infection, then you are in the wrong perception. It is not the bite of the flea that your furry pal can get infected with tapeworm but it is when your pet eats a flea infected with tapeworm larvae.
Normally, the segments found in the stool or found near the rectum are mobile, though are broken away from the main worm. And, the broken segment is actually a uterus full of tapeworm eggs. These eggs are transferred to the healthy pet through intermediate host like flea, mouse or rabbit. The eggs hatch to adult tapeworm passing through the stages – larvae and pupae. The fact that most of you may not be knowing is that if the eggs are directly eaten by your pet, nothing happens. The only way of these worms to be transmitted is through the mediator – flea, mouse or rabbit.
So, the tapeworms are transmitted from one pet to another or back to the same pet by the “end host” through the intermediate host. If a flea carrying tapeworm larvae is eaten by your furry pal, it will transfer the larvae and the pet gets infected. Though, tapeworms are so not dangerous, it is always crucial to take precautionary steps to prevent this intestinal worm infection.
Tapeworms are less injurious to end host but can hamper the health resulting into vomiting and diarrhea. They cause little damage to the gut but they look dangerous as they crawl out of the rectum. When it comes to various intestinal worms – tapeworms come on the top as they possess a “Blood-Brain” barrier. What does this reflect to? Most times we are not sure about such nature of tapeworms. It states that tapeworms are difficult to treat and special medications are required to treat them. No normal intestinal worm control products available in the market are effective. Specially designed de-wormers such as popantel works in treating and controlling these worms.
Such medications treat and remove all adult tapeworms. Once treated, if a dog or a cat eats another flea, mouse or rabbit infected with tapeworms, your pet can start shedding segments in one or two weeks.
In a nutshell, if your pet never eats a mouse, flea or rabbit that are infected with tapeworms, he will never suffer from tapeworm infection or if you are keeping on regular treatment of worms, he can fight against this infection. If your pet is infested with fleas, then there are chances that he can be infected with tapeworm and later or sooner you can see tapeworm segments near the rectum or in the stool.