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Tapeworms and Your Pet

How Does My Dog Get Tapeworms?

There are different types of tapeworms, but the most common ones in dogs are cause by an infected flea. Fleas carry the tapeworm’s larvae in them. If the dog eats or swallows it while grooming or itching the larvae can grown in side your dog’s intestines. Another way is if a dog eats the feces of an infected animal.

What are Tapeworms?

Cestodiasis is the medical term for tapeworm infestation. Tapeworms typically settle in the small intestine. Tapeworms are flat worms that are segmented, called progiottids. They consist of a head, neck, and then a number of segments. The head usually has suckers or muscular grooves that enable the tapeworm to attach itself to the animal’s intestine.

A tapeworm can grow from 4 to 28 inches long. Chances are you won’t see the adult worm. As it grows, though, some of its segments (about 1/8” or 3 mm) fall off and pass through your dog's poop.

Each tapeworm segment has its own reproductive organs. New segments are continually formed in the neck region of the worm while those at the end of the tapeworm are cast off as they mature.