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Tapeworms: Shedding segments.

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 article: Help stop the invasion: Understand the flea life cycle
Related article: Get to know roundworms
Related article: Get to know hookworms
Related article: Get to know whipworms

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Fight the infection

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

EXPLORE DEWORMERS

Bayer Products

  • 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

  • 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

  • Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin) packaging

    Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin)

    An all-in-one monthly topical that prevents heartworm disease, kills adult fleas and treats roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.

    Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin)

    Indicated for:

    HEARTWORMS
    HEARTWORMS
    FLEAS
    FLEAS
    ROUNDWORMS
    ROUNDWORMS
    HOOKWORMS
    HOOKWORMS
    WHIPWORMS
    WHIPWORMS
    SARCOPTIC MANGE
    SARCOPTIC MANGE
    MICROFILARIAE
    MICROFILARIAE

    CAUTION: Federal (U.S.A.) law restricts Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin) to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.