Wormopedia - Tapeworms

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Tapeworm

Tapeworm can be found in infected animals and is also spread by fleas. There are four main types of tapeworm that tend to affect our pets:
  • Dipylidium – the most common species which is spread by fleas
  • Taenia tapeworm which can be caught by dogs who scavenge while out walking or cats that hunt mice and other prey.
  • Echinococcus granulosus, or sheep tapeworm, which can be caught by dogs but not cats
  • and finally, Echinococcus multilocularis which is found abroad.
- AT RISK -
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Tapeworm

SOME TAPEWORMS CAN GROW UP TO 5 METRES IN LENGTH
Because the most common type of tapeworm is transmitted by fleas, any cat or dog that has had fleas may be infected.
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Tapeworm

Symptoms
You won’t always be aware if your pet has a form of tapeworm as there may not be any obvious symptoms.

You may occasionally, however, notice your pet spending more time than usual cleaning its bottom, since the egg-filled worm segments tend to irritate it as they pass through.

You may be able to pick up clues as to whether your pet has tapeworm - sometimes tiny segments (about the size of a grain of rice) can be found in their bedding.
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Tapeworm

Lifecycle...
Adult worms in small intestine
Eggs are released from segments
Eggs in faeces
Hydatids forming in the liver may result to death
Hydatids forming in the liver or the lungs of the intermediate host
Eggs ingested by intermediate host (sheep, cattle and horses)
Hydatids forming in the liver may result to death
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Tapeworm

Infection stages
The incubation period for tapeworms is between 3 and 10 weeks - that's the possible time lapse between your pet ingesting a tapeworm and visible egg segments appearing.
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Tapeworm

Risk to humans
Tapeworms can pass from pets to people. Echinococcus granulosus, the tapeworm that only affects dogs, can cause a serious illness called hydatid disease in people, causing cysts to form on internal organs.

It can take up to 50 years for symptoms to become apparent although in some cases hydatid disease can prove fatal.
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Tapeworm

Spread in Europe
Tapeworm can be found right across the UK and Europe. Sheep tapeworm is found in the UK although it’s only found in central Wales and the Hebrides.
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Tapeworm

How to get rid of them
Rigorous flea control is crucial along with regular worming with with a vet strength wormer which is effective against tapeworms in both cats and dogs.

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