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. Most infections with Dipylidium caninum are asymptomatic. Pets may exhibit behavior to relieve anal pruritis (such as scraping anal region across grass or carpeting). Mild gastrointestinal disturbances may occur. The most striking feature in animals and children consists of the passage of proglottids. These can be found in the perianal region, in the feces, on diapers, and occasionally on floor covering and furniture. The proglottids are motile when freshly passed and may be mistaken for maggots or fly larvae.
Symptoms of this disease usually start with mild itching with small rashes which indicates that the larvae have entered your skin. The other symptoms include abdominal pain, colic cramping, pain in the intestine, blood in the stool, loss of appetite, mal nutrition, itchy rashes etc.
The best treatment for this parasitic infection is to get rid of the parasites, intake of nutritional food, and intake of iron supplements if diagnosed with anaemia. Treatment with therapeutic agents include single dose of praziquantel 5-10mg/day. Dipylidiasis is distributed worldwide, and human infection has been reported in Africa, Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Europe, Guatemala, India, Japan, and the Philippines. Dipylidiasis does not appear to have a racial predilection. Males and females are equally susceptible to dipylidiasis. Dipylidiasis is most common in infants and in children younger than 8 years. Dipylidiasis has been reported in a 5-week-old infant.