TAPEWORMS: HOW DO WE STOP THEM?

A picture of a tapeworm with the words "Tapeworms in Dogs"

Tapeworms are unfortunately extremely common in our pets and extremely gross. Here is a quick overview on how to beat the tapeworms & protect your pet!

WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

A tapeworm life cycle: An infected flea bits a dog -> dog chews to scratch and eats flea -> eggs in the dog's intestines grow into tapeworms -> more eggs are shed in the dog's stool

The one and only way for our pets to get tapeworms is to eat a flea infected with them. If your pet eats a tapeworm itself, the tapeworms will not be able to survive and multiply.

Pets can only get tapeworms from eating an infected flea. If your pet has tapeworms, they have had fleas.

HOW DO WE TREAT THEM?

Tapeworms & fleas are easy to treat! In Oklahoma, the only medications that can treat tapeworms are prescription. That means a licensed veterinarian can prescribe it. Unfortunately, over-the-counter dewormers in Oklahoma do not treat tapeworms.

The only way to prevent tapeworms is flea medication! If you don’t treat the fleas, the tapeworms will come back. Our favorite flea preventative is Simparica Trio! It prevents fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites.

Droncit (praziquantel) canine cestode tablet bottle

CAN PEOPLE GET THESE TAPEWORMS?

While yes, people can technically get canine tapeworms, the person would have to eat and infected flea to do so. Dog and cat fleas will only bite humans as an extremely last resort. So it only happens if an animal is suddenly not living there anymore or if the animal has lost so much blood due to illness and/or fleas, that they are no longer a good place to snack.

HOW ELSE CAN YOU GET RID OF FLEAS?

Infograph showing that 95% of the fleas in your home are not on you or your pet

95% of the fleas in your house are NOT on your pet! If there are fleas on your pet, they ARE in your home. Dog and cat fleas will never bite a human if there is a healthy pet around.

We recommend treating ALL of your pets for fleas, treating and cleaning the soft furnishings in your home (beds, blankets, carpet, drapes, etc), and trimming/treating your yard. Maintaining your pets on flea prevention is absolutely necessary to avoid fleas. The saying goes, “I am an indoor human, but I get mosquito bites every year. Even indoor pets need flea/tick prevention for the same reason.”

I am an indoor human, but I get mosquito bites every year. Even indoor pets need flea/tick prevention for the same reason.

FLEA PREVENTION

Our absolute favorite flea prevention is Simparica Trio. It not only prevents/treats fleas but it also works against ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites! It is also cheaper to buy all preventatives in one pill rather than split it into flea/tick and heartworm/intestinal parasite pills. Plus it is a chewy treat that most dogs love!

Boxes of Simparica Trio

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TAKE HOME POINTS

  1. Dog tapeworms can only come from eating an infected flea.
  2. Tapeworms can only be treated by prescription medication in Oklahoma.
  3. Flea prevention is absolutely necessary to prevent tapeworms.
  4. 95% of the fleas in your dog’s environment are not on your pet, they are in your home.

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