Dipylidiasis is a common tapeworm infection of dogs and cats caused by Dipylidium caninum. Dipylidiasis has a worldwide distribution. Humans become infected by accidental ingestion of dog or cat fleas that contain D caninum cysticercoids (larva). The risk of infection to humans is low.
Twelve of 15 dogs belonging to an aboriginal community on the South coast of New South Wales, Australia, were infected, with the intensity of infection ranging between 1 and 65 tapeworms (Jenkins and Andrew 1993)
Treatment for both animals and humans is simple and very effective. A prescription drug called praziquantel is given, either orally or by injection (pets only). The medication causes the tapeworm to dissolve within the intestine.
Research says that combination of routinely screening faecal samples for parasites, strategic anthelmintic regimes and improved pet owner education is recommended for the control of GI parasites in pet dogs and cats in Australia.
Peter S. Nyasulu
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