Can dogs be infected by fox's dwarf tapeworm?
Dogs become infected by eating infected rodents. When a dog becomes infected, it takes 28 days before the dwarf tapeworm begins to secrete eggs, which in turn can infect humans. Dogs is then infectious for around 3-4 months.
Can fox's tapeworm affect humans?
The fox's dwarf tapeworm does not cause disease symptoms in dogs. However dogs can be carriers and infect humans, although this is rare.
The eggs that an infected dog excretes in its faeces can infect humans. Eggs can also get stuck in a dog's fur, then infecting people who touch the dog. People in infected areas should think about good hand hygiene after contact with their dog, especially if the dog may have been infected.
The risk for people to become infected is above all if we eat berries or mushrooms where invisible eggs are found. For dogs it is not dangerous to eat berries or mushrooms and dogs do not infect each other.
Deworm against the fox's dwarf tapeworm
If you think you're dog has been infected, deworm them with an agent intended for dwarf tapeworms. You should also deworm them if you live in areas where dwarf tapeworms have been found, if you have travelled with your dog to a country where dwarf tapeworms are present, or if you suspect that your dog has eaten an infected rodent. Your dog can then become infection-free within 3 days.
Recommendations for dog owners in infected areas
- Keep your dog on a leash when resting it
- Wash your hands after petting your dog, and do not kiss them
- Deworm your dog with an agent intended for dwarf tapeworms. Monthly deworming may be relevant for dogs that are constantly exposed to infection because they have the opportunity to eat small rodents.
- Shower and shampoo your dog in connection with the first deworming to remove any eggs in the fur. If you have then dewormed every 4 weeks, you don't need to shower them again.
- Treat your dog's faeces as if it's infectious and place in combustible waste containers before deworming, and for 3 days after deworming
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