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Tapeworms in Cats & Dogs

Tapeworms and fleas are best buddies. Like other common intestinal parasites, tapeworms spread when their eggs are deposited in the environment through an infected animal’s stool. But that's where the similarity ends. Tapeworms cannot be passed to your cat or dog simply by eating them. Your pet has to eat a flea (through grooming or responding to a flea bite) that has eaten an egg. This means flea control is an important part of helping to protect your pet from a tapeworm infection.

Once infected, tapeworms feed on your pet by attaching to the wall of the small intestine. While tapeworm infections can make your pet uncomfortable, the good news is that severe complications are rare.

If your pet has worms, treat your pet with an at-home dewormer or visit your veterinarian for a prescription. Also, be sure to use a flea preventive year round to kill fleas that may transmit tapeworms. Additionally, you can help by keeping pet areas clean, regularly removing pet waste in your yard or litter box, and washing your hands.

tapeworm

How do cats and dogs get tapeworms?

  • Common tapeworm transmission occurs when fleas eat tapeworm eggs and pets ingest those fleas through regular grooming of themselves or other pets
  • When pets eat prey, such as rabbits or mice, already infected with tapeworms

How do I know if my cat or dog has tapeworms?

Most pets don't show any obvious tapeworm symptoms, but you may notice:

  • Itchy rear end (may be accompanied by “scooting”)
  • Tapeworm segments (may look like grains of rice or sesame seeds) in stool or around your pet’s rear/under tail
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss

What do tapeworms look like?

Tapeworms are flat, usually white or light-colored, and feature many segments. In fact, what we usually see as tapeworms is not the entire tapeworm, but the rice-like segments containing eggs shed through the stool. Your pet’s entire tapeworm can be up to 28 inches long!

Can humans get tapeworms from pets?

Yes. However, the risk of transmission of specific tapeworms from cats and dogs to humans is low. You, too, have to swallow an infected flea from your pet.

Fight worm infections

Bayer offers a wide range of effective dewormers. Don't forget, it's also important to kill fleas that may cause transmission of tapeworms. Find them at pet specialty stores and veterinarian offices.

Related articles:
Flea & Tick Life Cycle
Roundworms in Cats & Dogs
Hookworms in Cats & Dogs
Whipworms in Dogs

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Fight the infection

The best thing about worms? Getting rid of them. Bayer dewormers can help.

EXPLORE DEWORMERS

Bayer Products

  • Profender<sup>®</sup> product packaging

    Profender®

    Profender® is a single-dose topical solution for the treatment and control of hookworm, roundworm and tapeworm infections in cats and kittens.

    Profender®

    Indicated for:

    TAPEWORMS
    TAPEWORMS
    ROUNDWORMS
    ROUNDWORMS
    HOOKWORMS
    HOOKWORMS

    CAUTION: Federal law (U.S.A.) restricts Profender® to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

  • Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats

    Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats

    Easy and effective way to remove common tapeworms

    Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats

    Indicated for:

    TAPEWORMS
    TAPEWORMS

  • small product

    Quad Dewormer for Dogs

    Easy to use, broad-spectrum dewormer that is effective against tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms

    Quad Dewormer for Dogs

    Indicated for:

    WHIPWORM
    WHIPWORM
    TAPEWORM
    TAPEWORM
    HOOKWORM
    HOOKWORM
    ROUNDWORM
    ROUNDWORM

Profender® (emodepside/praziquantel) Topical Solution
CAUTION: Federal law (U.S.A.) restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. HUMAN WARNINGS: Children should not contact application site for twenty-four (24) hours.

Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats
Not for human use. Keep out of reach of children.

Quad Dewormer Chewable Tablets for Dogs
Not for human use. Keep out of reach of children.