Even cute pets such as puppies and dogs are prone to falling sick. In fact, it is worse when puppies fall sick because their bodies are not completely developed and they don't have the natural defenses to fight their health problems. Among the many health problems, developing tapeworms that begin to reside and grow in their intestines is a grave one.
While dogs may develop tapeworms by consuming fleas that are infested with it, some puppies are born with it because their mothers were affected, or they get it by consuming their mother's milk. The tapeworm then continues growing inside the pup and if not treated, can get to point were it is fatal.
Tapeworms will show themselves in the following symptoms in puppies.
- Puppies are usually active and if you notice a lack in the general enthusiasm and energy they possess, it is possible that they are affected by a tapeworm infestation.
- Diarrhea is another common symptom that is noticed when puppies are infected by this intestinal parasite.
- Due to this condition, they are likely to suffer from severe abdominal discomfort and restlessness.
- Weight loss is a common symptom of worms.
- Finally, puppies with tapeworms will also have a huge loss of appetite.
The best way to detect tapeworms is by checking the pup's feces. These worms are white and resemble rice grains. In some cases, you may notice them around the pup's anus too. These worms can grow up to 15 cm long in the intestines if not detected and treated.
As they are parasites, they feast on the food that the puppy eats, which leads to a loss of energy in daily functioning. As such, treating them becomes very important to prevent their health from deteriorating further.
Taking certain measures for care is important, not only to treat but also prevent a tapeworm infestation. If you suspect a situation where your puppy is infested by tapeworms, it is best to consult a veterinarian. The vet will ask to see your puppy and will collect fecal samples to test for the presence of tapeworm.
Upon detection, certain drugs will be prescribed for treatment. In some cases, an injection may be necessary to treat this condition. The sooner it is detected, the easier it will be to treat it.
Tapeworms in dogs and puppies can be treated by means of some home remedies. However, you never know how a particular ingredient will react with your puppy, so it is better to stick to the drugs prescribed by the vet.
As a method of prevention, having your puppy dewormed within six weeks of its birth is a good idea. Though this is a slightly stressful process, it is essential for the prevention of this infestation. Your vet will advice you about the right method to adopt in this regard.
Also have it wear a flea collar for flea control, and use methods of preventing and treating flea infestation in the puppy. Avoid giving it raw meat for a while as it may be one of the reasons for tapeworms. Do not allow it to mingle with other pets that appear unwell or unhygienic.
While tapeworms are not contagious from puppies to human beings, it is likely that in some way, they may get transferred from one puppy to another. Though not contagious, children may be prone to developing dog tapeworms. As such, keep them away from your puppy till it is completely treated, and maintain good personal hygiene to avoid any problems.
Finally, even after you believe that the tapeworms have been completely removed, it is always good to monitor the pup's feces and check for any symptoms of illnesses. Ensure that you follow all the necessary prevention methods so that your puppy is healthy.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert advice.