Posts Tagged ‘Tapeworms’

Freaky and Fun Flea Facts

Magnified flea. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Magnified flea.
Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Did You Know?

  • Fleas lay eggs in your pet’s fur; then the eggs roll and drop off into the carpet, onto the furniture, or outdoors.
  • Squirrels, opossums, raccoons, stray dogs and cats can all carry flea eggs into your yard.
  • Fleas can hatch in as little as 2 or 3 weeks, or they can wait for several months and spring themselves on you and your pets when you least expect it.
  • After they feed and mate, female fleas begin laying eggs within 24 hours.
  • Each female flea produces 40 to 50 eggs per day — which adds up to hundreds of eggs in days or possibly thousands of eggs, given enough time. One pair of fleas can infest your home with their offspring!
  • Don’t forget the cat! Many households are infested because of untreated cats that act as reservoirs for fleas. While you’re picking up flea control for the dog, make sure to buy some for your cat, as well.
  • Common household spots for hatching flea eggs and squirming larvae include: in pet beds, under furniture, deep in carpets.
  • Outdoors, fleas like to hang out in shady, undisturbed areas like porches, decks, stairs, and doghouses.
  • Young fleas go dormant in our winter climate and emerge as adults as the weather warms up.
  • Fleas carry Tapeworms. If your dog or cat swallows a flea while grooming itself, it can get Tapeworms.
  • Cats that have fleas can carry Bartonella henselae – the bacteria responsible for Cat Scratch Disease.

So, how can you control flea infestations at home? Try these methods:

  • Treat all dogs and cats in the household. Ask about safe treatments for other furry friends like ferrets, rabbits, chinchillas, rats, etc. Not all products are suitable for pocket pets. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer.
  • Indoors, vacuum regularly. Lift and move furniture for a thorough cleaning.
  • To treat carpets and upholstery, try a safe product like Fleabusters Rx for Fleas.
  • Wash pet bedding and people bedding routinely.
  • Keep baseboards and nooks and crannies clean.
  • Eliminate weeds and brush piles; keep the lawn mowed.
  • Keep rodents away from your home.
  • Treat your yard with outdoor flea control products.


Information for this article was adapted from the Companion Animal Parasite Council and dvm360.com.

This article was originally posted on Aug. 22, 2014.

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Even cats that stay indoors their entire lives are at risk for parasitic infections. Why?

Because mosquitos, which transmit heartworm disease, often sneak into our homes.

Because fleas, which transmit tapeworms, often reside in our homes.

Because flies, which transmit roundworms, often buzz around inside our homes.

And if your cat is anything like mine, it loves to chase, catch, and eat bugs!

These are just some of the reasons your cat’s feces should be checked one to two times a year for parasites.

It’s also why we recommend Revolution for indoor cats. Revolution protects your cat against fleas, heartworms, roundworms, and ear mites.

Click on the graphic below to learn more about cats and parasites — then talk to us about protecting your indoor cat from heartworms, tapeworms, and roundworms.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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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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I’ve been “inspired” by the number of flea cases coming in lately to share new photos of flea dirt.

I found a willing feline participant, gave it a good combing, and came up with the photos you see here.

To review: so-called “flea dirt” is flea feces, which is the blood that used to be inside your cat or dog. [Yuck.] Flea dirt is also food for flea larvae [double yuck], which is why it’s a good idea to clean up flea dirt when you see it. No need to feed the next generation of fleas!

Dry flea dirt and fur. Click to enlarge.

Dry flea dirt and fur.
Click to enlarge.


Flea dirt saturated with liquid. Click to enlarge.

Flea dirt saturated with liquid.
Click to enlarge.


Flea dirt reconstituting into blood. Click to enlarge.

Flea dirt reconstituting into blood.
Click to enlarge.

That last photo demonstrates what you might see when you bathe a pet that has fleas. The water may turn a pink or rust color as the flea dirt liquefies. 

Need help keeping fleas off your pet this autumn? Try Advantage, NexGard, Revolution for cats, or the Seresto collar.

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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

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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Happy New Year!

What’s a New Year without a little change?

For much of 2012, I’ve blogged on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and updated our Facebook page on Tuesday and Thursday.

For the rest of December and continuing in 2013, I will update the blog on Tuesday and Thursday, while checking in to Facebook on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’s the ol’ switcheroo, in other words.

I’ll still bring you timely bulletins about lost and found pets, schedule changes, and other critical information — even on non-blogging days — so that you can stay up-to-date. Otherwise, when things are quiet and all is right in Pet Owner Land, you can check in with us twice a week, or as often as you prefer.

Keep in mind that our Electronic Universe consists of four parts: e-mail, blog, Facebook, and our YouTube channel. That’s right – we have our own channel, where I’ve posted such memorable videos as “Active flea larvae on the Flea Farm,” “Tapeworm segment releasing its eggs,” and who could forget “Hungry little crab”? But the front runner so far is “Live Tapeworm segments” with 508 views.

In 2013, I plan to bring you video of live heartworm larvae (microfilariae) as viewed under a microscope. You’ll remember to give your dog his heartworm preventative every month after seeing that.

Keep watching and keep in touch.  ~~  Jen M.

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     As promised, I have begun a new Flea Farm, this time recording video of live flea larvae. Those little guys move fast! In fact, the video looks sped-up, but I promise not to have doctored the tape (not that I would know how to.)

Teaser photo to get you in the mood:

     To see the new live-action flea larvae shots, follow these links to our YouTube channel.

Shy flea larvae

Flea larvae – speedy little suckers!

Active flea larvae on the Flea Farm

     So, am I trying to gross you out with all these videos? A little. Because if your pets have fleas, your house is growing its own Flea Farm, without any assistance from you.

     But you don’t have to let the little bugs take over! Read on for tips and products to help you win the war on fleas (plus a fun article that will have you rooting for them in the next Olympics.)

Shortcuts to articles on fleas and flea control

Prevent flea product failure

A flea jumps how high?

Advantage special offer

Revolution special offer

Adams Flea & Tick Mist

Flea comb

Fleabusters Powder for the house

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