It is important to know about this common tapeworm in dogs and cats because it can infect children.
The intermediate host is the common dog and cat flea. The flea larvae ingests the tapeworm egg in the environment. Once ingested, the tapeworm egg hatches into an intermediate form called a hexacanth. When the larval flea pupates, the tapeworm hexacanth turns into a cycticercoid.
The flea pupa hatches when stimulated by the vibrations created by a passing cat or dog. The flea hops onto your pet and starts feeding. Flea bites cause pruritis and the cat or dog chews the flea to help relieve itself. When the flea is knawed and chewd, the intermediate cyst is ingested. This turns into an adult tapeworm in the intestine of the dog or cat and starts shedding eggs and the cycle begins all over again.
It is important to use a flea prevention on your dog or cat. We are recommending Comfortis flea control for dogs and Revolution flea control for cats.
It is also important to worm your dog and cat at least every 3 months with an intestinal wormer. We recommend worming your pet monthly if you have small children.