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Tape Worms

These little white “crawly things” are most likely tapeworm segments. There are 2 common types of tapeworm that dogs and cats get in this area. One they get from consuming fleas, and the other from consuming birds and small rodents. Both are extremely rare in people, unless of course you like to eat fleas and wild birds and small rodents. They need this intermediate animal to complete the cycle. The good news is that even though they are really gross, (and embarrassing if Max jumps off your friend’s lap and he leaves one behind crawling on their leg), they usually do not cause problems unless they are infected with an overabundance of them. The other good news is that because they spend their entire lifecycle in the intestines, it only takes 1 pill to kill them. They are also one of the fastest reproducing intestinal parasites our pets can get. So if you see them again just a few weeks later, it’s not that the pill didn’t work, it just means that Max is continuing to hunt, or he still has fleas. That means you will want to talk to us about flea control and some of the new products we have for that, or put a bell around his neck to interfere with his hunting skills. And one last thing just to stir the pot a little: In other countries, and in some of the Northern United States, there is one species of tapeworm that people can get. They are passed on to us by sheep, foxes, moose, and wolves to name a few. So if you visit these areas, since it is an oral transmission, use good hygiene and wash your hands and/or wear gloves when you are out on those nature trails or hunting grounds. So, in summary, good hygiene and parasite/pest control is the name of the game.