Owners are many times surprised to see small, white, UMO’s (unidentified moving objects) crawling on the feces of their dog or cat. They will also note that these pets also tend to scratch or scoot on their bottoms and may show few fleas as well. Could these observations be related? They most certainly are!

The Flea Tapeworm, so called because of its dependence on the flea to progress through its life cycle, is familiar to most pet owners as a cause of scooting, poor haircoats and occasional diarrhea. They can even be seen in puppies and kittens before they are completely weaned. These white wigglies are segments of a much longer tapeworm living in the small intestine. After the segments pass, they dry up, turn yellow and break open. Eggs are released onto the ground or into the carpet where they wait until they are eaten by a hungry flea larva.

The tapeworm egg stays in the flea as it matures to adulthood, finds your dog or cat and begins feeding. Though fleet of foot when running through the hair, some are caught and swallowed by the pet where they digest. But what about the tapeworm egg? Now that it is home, it hatches, attaches and grows its own segments, living off expensive petfood. Soon small white segments appear, continuing the life cycle.

We can supply prescription medication to remove these pesky poop parasites and will be happy to share with you suggestions about flea control. By breaking the flea-tapeworm connection, your pet will be healthier and more comfortable, inside and out.

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