Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

July Newsletter

Worms (part 3)

This month we will continue to report on intestinal parasites. To recap May and June:

1) Many people believe that if adult worms aren’t visible in the poop then the pet doesn’t have worms, but that isn’t always the case.

2) Many times the only way we can diagnose a worm burden is by finding the eggs with a microscope after a special flotation procedure.

3) Research has found that approximately 1/3 of dogs are infected with parasites!

4) This is important not only to our pets’ health, but also to our own. Many intestinal parasites are infectious to people.

There are four main types of internal parasites that we are concerned about in feces. In May we discussed Roundworms, in June we covered Hookworms. This month we will discuss Tapeworms.

Tapeworms
(image courtesy of capcvet.org)

This is the worm most commonly noticed by the owner. Tapeworms segments can look like kernels of rice or cucumbers seeds. You may find these in the hairs around the anus of your pet. The tapeworm life cycle is a little different than other intestinal parasites because infection requires the ingestion of an intermediate host. When you see tapeworms you should also be looking for fleas. This is because fleas can the intermediate host for some species of tapeworms. This means that 2-3 weeks after flea ingestion (which often occurs during normal grooming) the adult tapeworm starts to shed segments of its body which show up in dog feces. The best way to prevent fleas is with a monthly flea preventative. Human infections are rare.