Pet owners now have an easy way to protect their pets from the unpleasant experience of a tapeworm infestation.
How do you know if your dog has tapeworms? Traditional testing methods use a stool sample (feces) to detect many parasites, including hookworms and roundworms. But if your dog has tapeworms, this test will often be negative. In most cases, the diagnosis is made when you see these segments crawling either on the fresh stool sample or on your dog’s rear end.
But what do they look like? Well, bits of tapeworms are most commonly compared to cucumber seeds or grains of rice, just wigglier. When they dry out, the tapeworm segments become hard and yellowish in color (think sesame seeds) and may stick to the hair, fur or even your pillow.
New research from Auburn University shows that tapeworm infections in dogs may be much more widespread than previously recognized. The new testing method indicated that 45 percent of over 1,000 pet dogs tested positive. Earlier studies placed that average at 1 percent prevalence of tapeworms found in dogs.
Most tapeworm infections occur when your dog eats a flea or small mammal that carries an early stage of the worm. They are not directly transmittable to you (unless you eat fleas and small mammals), and most tapeworm species cause minimal health problems, with a few exceptions.
“Since winter has been mild across the country, we can expect to see an increase in parasites, with fleas and wild animals bringing in a variety of problems,” states Dr. Heidi Lobprise. “Even when you are providing flea control on your pet, it’s difficult to control every pest in the environment, so you need to be aware that diseases such as tapeworms can still be transmitted.”
How can you protect your dog? Fortunately, with a little knowledge and one easy step, you can keep heartworms, tapeworms and other worms from rearing their ugly heads. Prescription products available from your local veterinarian like IVERHART MAX® (ivermectin/pyrantel pamoate/praziquantel) Chewable Tablets can help. IVERHART MAX Chewable Tablets are a once-monthly preventative that can help treat and control roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Contact your local veterinary clinic and you can start protecting your dog today; or to learn more, log on to www.virbacpets.com or www.petsandparasites.org. - NAPSI