The question "Can fleas carry tapeworm?" might not have ventured into the minds of pet owners yet, but being confronted with this idea is extremely alarming. As a pet owner, it is always your aim to provide the best for your pets despite a few mischievous deeds here and there. But will it change your opinion once you know that they can be the carrier of infections as well?
Well, you shouldn't be: knowledge and early detection can make a huge difference. Flea and tick infestation is a common dilemma shared by millions of pet owners all over the world, and the threat it poses to the health of humans cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, dogs or cats infected with fleas can carry tapeworms!
The existence of fleas on your dog's skin can not only cause an allergic skin condition known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), but they also serve as carriers of many other infectious agents such as tapeworm. If you take time to notice, tapeworms appears like rice grains on your pet's stool. This can cause irritation on your pet's anal region.
With humans, tapeworms and other types of bacterial worms can cause serious health problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and even permanent eye damage. The thing with tapeworms is that they are quite difficult to remove once they've managed to infest your pet's body.
The tapeworm invades the intestinal walls of the host and that's when the segments break off and they are released along with the waste. And since fleas serve as carriers of tapeworm, the next organism they infest is very likely to acquire this infection as well. Once infected with tapeworm, you will need to undergo several de-worming procedures to be able to dislodge the worm's head, the key to its regeneration and continued reproduction.
As of now, there are only a few medications that work effectively against tapeworms. Drontal is one type of de-wormer that is widely available in the market today. The process of applying de-wormer can be done twice, or even three times, to ensure it's effectiveness. The interval of application can be done in two weeks in order to follow the parasite's life cycle. Therefore, the first wave of application aims to kill the adult worms, and the follow-up application aims to further kill the surviving ones.
Although many procedures and products have been created to help treat flea infestation, as well as the succeeding tapeworm infections, still nothing beats prevention. You must always be keen to observe conditions of your pets and use a specialized flea comb to take out fleas from your dog's hair. Then, you can take the necessary precautionary measures to help stop the spreading or further tapeworm infestation. So do take note of itching on your dog as well as hair loss.
And because these parasites are transmissible to humans, you as a pet owner can be in danger as well. Those with a weaker immune system are more likely to get infected, especially children who often are in constant physical contact with your pets. So take action early before you answer the question "Can fleas carry tapeworm?" the hard way.
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