There are actually several different species of tapeworms in dogs. These parasites are flat worms and have segments that individually reproduce, then break off.
Generally, dogs are not routinely given tapeworm treatment unless you see signs that he may have them.
Unfortunately, a fecal exam will not always give accurate results as it depends upon what stage it is taken in and whether or not they are detectable at the time of the fecal smear.
If you see what appears to be pieces of rice in your Golden Retriever's stool, or see flakes of the worm stuck around his anal area, or actually find pieces of the tapeworm on your furniture when your dog gets up, then he will need to be treated.
Tapeworms are caused by dogs eating infested fleas, which is another good reason to regularly flea treat your pet.
Dogs can also get them by eating infested wild game, such as rabbits, that have eaten infected flea larvae.
Tapeworms do not cause as severe of problems as many of the other intestinal parasites do, but a extreme amount of them can cause slow weight gain, and possible diarrhea.
You may also notice your Golden Retriever scooting her rear end along the floor.
The good news is, if your Golden Retriever is treated for tapeworms, then kept on a flea preventative program and is not given access to consume wild game, the problem should be corrected.
The majority of available over-the-counter wormers do not include medicine for tapeworms.
Drontal Plus is a good choice, but this is a prescription medication that you will need to see your vet for.
As for over the counter medications, you will need to specifically look for a dewormer that kills this parasite.
Safe-Guard effectively kills all 4 of the most common worms in dogs, including canine tapeworms.
My personal opinion is that it is not a good idea to routinely treat your dogs for all the various types of canine worms.
Roundworms and hookworms can be routinely treated, but there are much easier and safer ways to eradicate tapeworms in dogs.
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