Chart: 6 zoonoses you should know -- Tapeworm infection

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Mar 12, 2010
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Common disease name

Tapeworm infection
(Tapeworms are worms with a dorsoventrally flattened, ribbonlike appearance.)


Scientific name

Dogs: Dipylidium caninum, Taenia crassiceps, Taenia hydatigena, Taenia multiceps, Taenia pisiformis, Taenia serialis, Echinococcus granulosus, Echinococcus multilocularis (relatively uncommon in dogs/zoonotic)

Cats: Dipylidium caninum, Taenia taeniaeformis, Echinococcus multilocularis


Method of infection

Dogs and cats: Ingestion of tissues of intermediate host (rabbits or rodents); ingestion of infected adult flea (Dipylidium caninum)

People: Ingestion of infected flea or tissues of intermediate host


Signs

Dogs and cats: Anal discomfort and itching that often results in pets dragging their hind ends across the floor

People: Most are asymptomatic, but diarrhea, abdominal pain, and anal pruritus are possible


Treatment

Praziquantel, epsiprantel, fenbendazole (dogs)


People most at risk

Children under the age of 8 years


Prevention

  • Stringent adherence to controlling fleas and lice.
  • Routine monthly deworming with praziquantel may be indicated for areas endemic to infections with Echinococcus species.

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