What Does a Tapeworm Look Like?

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Tapeworms are long and flat, with bodies consisting of multiple segments. The segments appear as small white worms resembling grains of rice on the rear end of a dog or cat, in their feces, or where they live and sleep.

There are several species of tapeworms, and each uses a different intermediate host to infect a pet. Fleas, small rodents, rabbits or larger animals such as deer and sheep are the hosts that transmit the worms to dogs or cats. Pets infected with tapeworms do not normally lose weight or display symptoms of illness. Utilizing safe, consistent flea control and keeping pets away from animals that serve as hosts are effective ways to prevent tapeworm infections.