Are Dog Tapeworms Contagious?

Dog tapeworms are parasitic worms that infest in the small intestines of your dog. Tapeworms get their name from their flat, tape-like appearance. But they also have hooked shaped mouths which allow them to attach to the wall of the small intestine. If you have many dogs in your home and have recently had one of them diagnosed with tapeworms, you are probably wondering if your other dogs will be infected with tapeworms. Tapeworms are contagious, but there are ways to prevent your other dogs from being infected.

What Causes Tapeworms?

The only way for a dog to contract tapeworms is to swallow a flea that is infected with tapeworms. The tapeworm larvae start out thriving on feces, and when fleas eat the feces, they become carries of the parasite. When your dog ingests that flea, he has just become infected with the tapeworm parasite. Tapeworms need a host in order to survive. When a flea eats the larvae from feces, the tapeworm parasite has been able to attach to a host and will begin to reproduce.

What Are the Symptoms of Tapeworms?

There are usually no outward signs of tapeworms in a dog. While there may be some small or possibly insignificant signs, the only sign is usually the actual presence of tapeworms in your dogs stool. You may notice that when your dog is sitting on the couch, he will leave behind a long, stringy, flat looking worm. That is a tapeworm.

You may also notice the tapeworm hanging from the anus. And a dog will likely scoot around on the floor or the ground in irritation. Dogs are known to do this type of behavior in cases of tapeworms because it helps them to relieve the irritation in the anus area.

Are Dog Tapeworms Contagious?

Tapeworms are an extremely contagious parasitic infection. Chances are if your dog has been exposed to a flea that was a carrier of the tapeworm parasite, there are probably more infected fleas in your area or around your home. If you have a dog that is determined to have tapeworms, you need to take adequate precautions in protecting your other animals, both cats and dogs.

Tapeworms in humans are a rare condition. It is not impossible, but it is uncommon. Humans can be infected with tapeworms the same way that a dog can, by ingesting an infected flea. Because humans do not do the amount of playing in the yard, scratching of fleas, eating their own stools or things of a similar nature, it is easy to see why humans do not typically contract tapeworms.

How Can Tapeworms Be Prevented?

Tapeworms are parasites that are very easily prevented. All that is needed is a dedicated deworming schedule for you dog. Keep in mind that not all monthly dewormers provide protection against tapeworms. So, in order to make sure that your dog is protected from tapeworms, you will need to choose a dewormer that provides that level of protection.

Iverhart Max is a monthly dewormer that offers protection against heartwormsroundwormshookworms and tapeworms.