Many have identified tapeworm parasitism as one of the common reasons why people bring pets to an animal doctor. If your pet's intestines are invaded by tapeworms, they would experience diarrhea with excessive mucous, a rumbling tummy and worm segments that are present in their stool.
The cat or dog tapeworm infection is called “Dipylidium caninum". This worm's life cycle begins in the anus of the infected cat or dog. When the animal takes a potty, a small segment of the worm goes with the stool, bearing some tapeworm eggs. These eggs will lay dormant in the ground for about several months until these are accidentally consumed by a flea (an immediate host). You can already imagine how the whole system works.
The flea that ate the tapeworm eggs is another parasite that sets foot on your pet's hide. Many pets accidentally digest a flea because these animals use their mouth for almost anything (for scratching, cleaning themselves, among others). When the flea that ate the eggs is digested by an animal, gestation of the tapeworm eggs takes place and a larva emerges and thrives into the animal's intestinal wall until it reaches it's adult life. When these worms reproduce, they will again shed segments that contain the eggs which the animal victim can spread with love during “potty" time.
Tapeworms give birth to very adventurous embryos. If they are not consumed by fleas, they divide into nearby water holes and supplies. It's easy to think that once animals inject the worms, they automatically mature into full-grown worms, well, think again. The worms remain underdeveloped inside the host's stomach lining and some are known to slip into the bloodstream. The blood vessels serve as their transport highway to relocate onto major organs and muscles. Some underdeveloped tapeworms can tunnel into the liver or in worst cases, breed into the lungs, brains and spinal cord. Creepy!
Once this cunning embryo is satisfied in its new home, it encases itself in a cyst (a fluid-filled sack). It doesn't emerge from the cyst until the flesh (where it's staying) is eaten by another animal. That's usually how humans or animals end up with tapeworms in their gut.
Thankfully, this infestation is more common among cats and dogs, not humans. You just have to be careful not to swallow a flea. You also need to watch out for undercooked beef, pork or fish. The worm larva use these types of meat as an immediate host. Since the human lifestyle is very “in-line" with proper sanitation and proper cooking, this renders tapeworm infestation uncommon in human lifestyle.
However, it doesn't mean you cannot suffer from one. You will know very easily if you are “heavily" infested with tapeworms. You'll get painful cramps inside your abdomen which cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The common human symptoms are nausea, severe abdominal pain, constipation, weight loss and worm fragments on the person's stool or clothes (underwear).
Remember the use of the word “heavily"? In many cases, human beings won't even notice that a tapeworm is inside their system. Tapeworms don't adversely affect a human being's health unless the person is already malnourished. If you notice, the symptoms of tapeworm is attributed to an upset stomach, stress or just an irritable bowel syndrome. Most people only notice a tapeworm infection when they spot “proglottid" segments in their feces or clothes. It's understandable that you may prefer not to know, but for your own good, you have to know! To be really sure, it's best to go to your clinic and have a “stool" exam.
There is no question that the mere thought of tapeworm is the stuff of horror movies. The fact that they could twist through out intestines and thrive on our meals is enough to leave a frightening image in our minds. No matter how much you despise them, tapeworms aren't going away. These worms are everywhere and they reproduce in a sickening rate. Your best defense is knowing how to purge and prevent these worms from finding paradise inside your body and your pet's body.
"The Raw Material"
There's a slight chance for you to get the following tapeworms: the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium), the beef tapeworm (Taenia saginata) and the fish tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum). These worms are common in North American and European cosmopolitan cities.
Of course, avoiding the consumption of raw meat definitely cuts the risk of getting these worms. Many people speculate that cutting off the part of the fish with the Diphyllobothrium larva is enough preventive measure before serving the meat to customers. Not quite!
The only way to be sure is to cook the meat very well or freeze it for no less that 4 days to kill the larva or worm fragments (carrying the eggs) that are lying in wait. If you are eating in a restaurant, it's always best to request that the meat be “well-done", especially red meat.
"Pet Boarding Houses"
The best way to get rid of pet tapeworms is to prevent them from reaching your pet's belly? How do you do this? The answer is simply not “boarding" your pet. Leaving your pets under the care of pet boarding establishments may be convenient for you, but in reality, it's impossible for these people to check the animals for fleas (or other infestations) before your pet mingles with another dog or cat.
If you have no other choice but to board your pet, make sure to leave clear instruction that your pet must not be allowed to be in contact with other pets. This prevents your “flea-free" pet from the ingestion of infected fleas.
Want to know more? You can read more tips on How to get rid of Tape Worm , plus information to get rid of practically anything else that ails you - from bad breath to telemarketers to cellulite - at http://www.howtogetridofstuff.com