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Tapeworms In Pets

Tapeworms are segmented flatworms. Suckers on their head facilitate firm attachment to the intestinal walls of their host. Each segment of a tapeworm contains its own reproductive mechanism. The tapeworm’s neck has the ability to continuously form new body segments. As new segments are formed, the segments at the posterior end of the tapeworm mature and are casted off. Once removed from the tapeworm’s body, mature segments, also called proglottids, are eliminated with the dog’s feces. These proglottids appear like rice or cucumber seeds and each contain the parasite’s eggs. When exposed to the environment, the proglottids dry up and release the eggs. In order to be infective, a tapeworm needs to spend a part of their development in an intermediate host. The dog gets infected by ingesting a tapeworm’s intermediate host, most commonly an infected flea.

Your Forest Hill, MD veterinarian may recommend regular deworming to protect your pet from tapeworm infestation. Click their site to learn more.

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