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Posts Tagged ‘proglottids’

Since I’m always telling people that dried-up Tapeworm segments (proglottids) look like sesame seeds, I thought I would show the actual comparison.

Photo A:

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments?

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments? Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

 

Photo B:

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments?

Sesame seeds or Tapeworm segments? Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

 

Photo C:

Sesame seeds on the left; Tapeworm segments (proglottids) on the right. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Sesame seeds on the left; Tapeworm segments (proglottids) on the right.
Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

So if you see a collection of these little doodads around where your dog or cat has been sitting, call the vet, because your pet has Tapeworms.

No, Fluffy did not get into the hamburger buns. Those are Tapeworm segments.

No, Fluffy did not get into the hamburger buns. Those are Tapeworm segments.

 

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[*Not Suitable for Dinner.]

Eating while surfing the ‘net? You may want to cover your eyes for this next part.

We recovered the Tapeworm, shown below, from a patient and, for our amusement, measured the nasty parasite.

Now, most of us see individual Tapeworm proglottids — the short, rice-like segments that exit a pet’s rear-end one at a time. Each of these segments is filled with eggs, which may be consumed by flea larvae once the proglottid is out in the open. The flea matures, hops onto a pet, is then swallowed by a dog or cat during self-grooming, and the whole process begins again.

In this case, it appears that the entire worm has exited the body. (Lord knows why, since all the nutrition it needs is still inside the cat!)

So now, for your edutainment, we present this 10-centimeter Tapeworm, whom we have positively identified through fingerprint analysis** as being the notorious Lonnie Canklespot Gorman, the Third.

Yowza!!!  Photo by Jennifer Miele

Yowza!!!
Click to enlarge. Photo by Jennifer Miele

**Tapeworms do not actually have fingerprints.

If you’ve seen fleas on your pet, he (or she) could also have Tapeworms. While you may not see anything this big, you may see rice-sized or sesame seed-sized segments on your pet’s rear end, poop, or wherever he’s been sitting. If you suspect your pet has Tapeworms, ask your vet for prescription-strength worming medication today.

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It’s amazing the fun I can have with a plastic bag, a camera and a microscope.

   On June 23rd, I scooped some flea eggs and flea dirt (for fuel) into a plastic ziploc bag. Periodically, I checked the bag and photographed the contents as the eggs hatched, larvae squiggled around, and a couple of industrious flea wannabes worked their way toward adulthood.

   Disappointed that I hadn’t thought to film the live larvae wiggling and squiggling, I’ve set up a new Flea Farm in a bag – this time with dozens of eggs. Gross, right? I’ll post those results as they become available. In the meantime, check out these photos of the normally unseen world of fleas. 

Flea eggs (on black paper)

Flea eggs on paper; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea eggs (magnified; with “flea dirt”)

Magnified flea eggs and flea dirt; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Isolated flea egg (magnified; with “flea dirt”)

Flea egg; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea excrement (dried blood from the host animal; also known as “flea dirt”) This will be consumed by flea larvae for fuel

Flea dirt, often the first sign of a flea infestation; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea larva (magnified)

Look closely to see the hairs along the larva’s body; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Flea pupa in cocoon [left] and larva [right] (magnified)

Flea pupa safe in its cocoon, with larva and flea dirt; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Immature flea (magnified) This little guy almost made it!

Immature flea, just out of its cocoon; photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

 

Coming up on Tuesday, July 24th – I will post video on our Facebook page of live, squirming Tapeworm segments called proglottids. You’ll even get to see a proglottid belching out its eggs!
Caution: do not watch before a meal!

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