Bodysnatchers and alien creatures living inside people’s bodies are not entire science fiction. When it comes to tapeworms, facts can be as strange as fiction. It is not only the Alien movie where a parasite grew rapidly into a dangerous monster. A woman in China had to get an 8-foot long tapeworm removed from her stomach.
Along with whipworm, hookworm, and roundworm, tapeworms are a rather common intestinal parasite. The common occurrence of the worm makes it easy to get infected by them. But you cannot leave a tapeworm infestation untreated. Here is all you need to know about tapeworms to prevent them from spreading in your house.
Know Your Worm
Just like the other common worms that infect both animals and humans, the tapeworm is a segmented worm. The medical term for having a tapeworm infestation is Cestodiasis. The tapeworm larva remains in the intestine till adulthood. An adult tapeworm can move around in the body to find a more suitable place to reside. So, a tapeworm infestation does not only affect the intestines of the infected individual.
Tapeworms release segments from one end of their bodies. These segments contain the eggs of the tapeworm that are dispersed through excreta or circulated to parts of the victim’s body.
Types of Tapeworms
Tapeworms belong to the class Cestoda. There are various species of tapeworms that are commonly found in certain animals. From some animals, the tapeworm can find their way into a human host body. The largest tapeworm is the Tetragonoporus calyptocephalus, a species of tapeworm that grows up to 40 meters in the blue whale’s intestine. You do not have to worry about the 40-meter-long worm infesting you. The common species of tapeworms that can infect you are:
- Dipylidium caninum from dogs
- Taenia solium from pigs
- Diphyllobothrium latum from fish
- Taenia saginata from cows.
And the Likely Victims are…
All animals big and small can get infested by specific species of tapeworms. From the gigantic blue whale to the tiny mole, you will find particular tapeworm species that choose these animals as hosts. But for some species of tapeworms, multiple organisms can play unwilling hosts. Tapeworms cannot live outside a host body, so they try to find any host that is available.
What’s the Harm?
With tapeworms being such a common phenomenon, why must you take precautions, like buying dog interceptor online?
Tapeworms are parasites that can become a nutritional drain on your body. Without treatment, the worm can become longer and longer till it takes up a lot of space inside your body. Weight loss, malnutrition, deficiencies, intestine inflammation, and weakness, are related to tapeworm infestations. Since your unwanted body guest is taking away most of the nutrition from your food, no matter how much you eat, your body will remain starved of nutrition. Over time the body of the host will show the effects of the infestation.
Figuring Out if Infested
Before the parasite becomes big trouble, there are ways of figuring out if a host has been infected. For animals, the eggs released can be seen hanging near the anus. Itching of the anus is a common sign of most worm infestations. The only sure way of understanding if the host is infested is by checking the stool sample. You can get both your stool as well as your pet’s stool tested to check for tapeworm. Looking out for symptoms can be difficult since the symptoms of tapeworm are common with other worms.
Prevention Better Than Cure
If you want to stay safe from tapeworms you need to keep your family tapeworm-free. Pets getting infected can be the gateway for tapeworms into your body. Dogs being the most commonly infected pets, it is important for dog owners to keep their dog worm free. Instead of buying dog interceptor online you can simply prevent your dog from contracting the parasites.
When you take your dog out ensure that they do not go near feces of other animals. After returning from, walks wash your pet’s paws if they have stepped in mud. Stay away from areas with the trash when walking your dog. Keep your yard clean of dog feces. Wash your own hands after handling dog feces. Whether feeding your dog or yourself, cook your meats well. Even fruits and vegetables should be washed and cooked properly before consumption to prevent the tapeworm eggs from entering your body.
Keeping your pets free from tapeworms is a good way of preventing tapeworm infestation in your house.
Cure When Prevention Fails
Since there are so many ways in which one can get infected with a tapeworm, chances are that you will get infected even after taking precautions. Buying dog interceptor online and feeding them to your dogs can cure your dog of tapeworms. Antiparasitic medication can be bought over the counter or prescribed by your doctor. But before you do buy antiparasitic medication and dog interceptor online, get tested.
Regular tests and doses of safe drugs can prevent tapeworms from finding a host in your house.