Is Dipylidiasis a Problem in Young Puppies (Before Weaning)?
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2004
Ali Shabestari Asl, Yagoob Garedaghi


Dipylidiasis is a common tapeworm infestation of dogs and cats (sometimes humans) caused by Dipylidium caninum. Dipylidiasis has a worldwide distribution. Humans and small animals become infected by accidental ingestion of the dog or cat flea (Ctenocephalides andPulex), or the dog louse (Trichodectes) infected with cysticercoids. Cysticercoids develop into adult worms in the small intestine of the host in about 20 days.

Infection with D. caninum is most commonly observed in infants and in children younger than 8 years. (Dipylidiasis has been reported in a 5-week-old infant). In small animals Dipylidiasis commonly observed in young animals because of their life cycle and need for intermediate hosts.

Gravid proglottids are voided with feces, or leave the host spontaneously and release egg capsules. Adult fleas lay their eggs in the nest of the host animal. Flea larvae, eat the eggs and become infected. The onchosphere hatches in the digestive tract of the insects. Infection of the definitive host is accomplished when infected adult fleas are swallowed. The cysticercoids escape into the small intestine and develop directly to adult cestodes in 3 to 4 weeks.

Case history

In a 3 weeks age puppy that presented to tabriz AZAD university pet clinic, after checking of puppy, antihelmintic therapy is given by mebendazole for removal of ascarids. After 5 days of therapy, the owner saw some worms in the feces.


Parasitology examination, was shown gravid proglottids in the feces that I treated with praziquantel. This was an atypical cestodes infestation. I think we must reviewed protocol of puppies antihelmintic therapy. For the treatment of this parasite, we used praziquantel or niclosamide routinely. But this therapy was used after weaning.

Therefore, with attention to early occurrences of cestodes infestation, we must choose a good antihelmintic protocol for removal all helminthes infestations in young puppies. This is important because some worms are zoonotic and dipylidiasis is one of them.


1.  Helminths, Arthropods and Protozoa of Domesticated Animals", E. J. L. Soulsby, (Bailliere Tindall); 1995.

2.  Samall animal internal medicine, Stephen.j. Ettinger, Edward C. Feldman, 2000, (W B Saunders); 5th edition

3.  Venkat R Minnaganti, MD, Fellow, Division of Infectious Diseases, Winthrop University Hospital; Clinical Instructor, Department of Internal Medicine.

Speaker Information
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Ali Shabestari Asl

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