Dipylidium infection, often known as Dog and Cat Flea Tapeworm, develops when a dog or cat swallows a tapeworm larvae-infected flea. While self-grooming, a dog or cat may ingest a flea. The tapeworm larvae might mature into an adult tapeworm once the dog or cat swallows the flea. The mature tapeworm comprises several microscopic segments known as proglottids, each roughly the size of a grain of rice. As the tapeworm develops in the intestine, proglottids break off and pass into the feces. The proglottids are cream-colored and are often visible, clinging to the fur surrounding the anus of the animal.

However, humans have a relatively low likelihood of infection with this tapeworm. Dipylidium infection occurs when a person unintentionally swallows an infected flea. The majority of reported instances involve youngsters. Flea management is the most effective technique to avoid diseases in both dogs and people. Infected children will often pass proglottids in their bowel movements or discover them attached to the skin surrounding the anal region.


The majority of infections are asymptomatic, although occasionally, an infected person may exhibit these symptoms:

  • Mild diarrhea┬á
  • Restlessness
  • Abdominal colic
  • Constipation
  • Rectal itching
  • Anorexia
  • Pain


Infection is diagnosed by finding proglottids or by recognizing eggs on fecal flotation. These segments are roughly the size of a rice grain and may be discovered in the pet’s bedding, on the hair around the anus, or in the stool.

Because proglottids are not evenly distributed in feces and eggs do not regularly float, fecal flotation alone is insensitive for detecting tapeworm infection in dogs and cats.

Eggs were not found by fecal flotation in any cat harboring adult Dipylidium caninum in the small intestine in one investigation of over 100 cats from animal shelters.


For the treatment of Dipylidium infection, the following drugs can be prescribed by the doctor.

  • Praziquantel: Adults should take 5-10 mg/kg orally in a single dosage. It isn’t permitted for usage in children younger than 4; however, it’s been used to treat Dipylidium infection in 6-month-olds.
  • Niclosamide: A single 2-g dosage is administered as four 500-mg tablets. The dosage for children is 50 mg/kg (maximum 2 g) once. Within six weeks, the infection normally resolves itself on its own in people.

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