Signs of heartworm disease in dogs

Learn which signs to look out for so you can recognize if your dog has heartworm disease and seek effective treatment sooner rather than later.

4 different tapeworms- 4 different risks

There are 4 common species of tapeworm you should be aware of:

  • Dipylidium tapeworm – the most common species which is spread by fleas.
  • Taenia tapeworm – caught by dogs who scavenge while out walking.
  • Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm – known as the sheep tapeworm, caught by dogs only.
  • Echniococcus multilocularis tapeworm – found in the northern hemisphere.1

The tapeworm lifecycle

The incubation period for tapeworms is anywhere between 3-10 weeks from your dog ingesting a tapeworm and starting to pass egg segments – but these eggs aren’t always visible. Humans can be infected by ingestion of eggs from the environment, which causes the formation of cysts in the liver and other organs and can be fatal.

tapeworm lifecycle

  • 1

    Adult worms lay eggs in the dog’s small intestine.

  • 2

    Eggs released into the environment through the dog’s stools.

  • 3

    These eggs can look like small grains of rice on your dog's rear or in the dog's stool.

  • 4

    Eggs are ingested by intermediate hosts, such as sheep, cattle, horses and fleas.

  • 5

    Larvae form in the liver or the lungs of the intermediate host.

  • 6

    The dog eats carcass containing hydatids and adult worms form in the intestine.

You might be interested in…

Want to keep reading? Learn more about worms by exploring the articles below.

Signs of intestinal worms

Would you know what to look out for? Read up on the signs of intestinal worms.

How does a dog get worms?

See where your dog is most at-risk of contracting different worm types.

Hookworm lifecycle

Learn more about the hookworm lifecycle.


Interceptor Plus prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm infections in dogs and puppies 6 weeks or older and 2 pounds or greater.

Important Safety Information

Treatment with fewer than 6 monthly doses after the last exposure to mosquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. Prior to administration of Interceptor Plus, dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infections. The safety of Interceptor Plus has not been evaluated in dogs used for breeding or in lactating females. The following adverse reactions have been reported in dogs after administration of milbemycin oxime or praziquantel: vomiting, diarrhea, decreased activity, incoordination, weight loss, convulsions, weakness, and salivation. For complete safety information, please see Interceptor Plus product label or ask your veterinarian.

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