Why do Dogs Get Tapeworms Repeatedly?

 |  Jan 6th 2010  |   1 Contribution

My puppy wound up with tape worms, we treated him with medication to get rid of them. About a month later, he has them again...what are the odds of him getting them again, and why would he get them again? Are we doing something wrong? He had a huge flea infestation when we got him, but we've gotten rid of all the fleas, or so we think...we haven't seen one on him since before we wormed him.

Roanoke, Va

The most common tapeworm in dogs and cats is spread by fleas. Animals contract the worms by eating fleas that harbor them. Humans also can catch the worms--if we eat fleas. This happens more often that you might think, especially in children.

The medications that eliminate tapeworms from pets are very effective. However, if a pet is treated for tapeworms but still is exposed to fleas then the odds of re-infestation are extremely high. This is what most likely happened to your puppy.

Remember that large numbers of fleas must be present on your pet in order for a visible infestation to be noticed. Small numbers of fleas often are undetectable to us--but not to pets.

Even if you used a high quality flea product, it is possible for fleas to transiently infest your pet. If you had a serious flea problem, that means that thousands (or millions) of flea pupae could be present in the house. As they hatch they will attack your pet briefly before the high quality flea preventative kills them.

If you keep using a good flea product this problem will end eventually. In the meantime, you may have to de-worm your pet more than once.


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