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Cher, Dog Caregiver--Extensive Experience
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  Extensive Experience Caring for Canines; Specializing in behavior and health concerns.
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I found small pink worms in my dogs bed tonight and on the

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I found small pink "worms" in my dogs bed tonight and on the blanket on my bed where she was lying. I did not think they were alive but now I just saw one move! I am a nurse but this is too stange for me. She has been tested for heartworms and has all of her shots. I just noticed they are coming from her rectum. Are they tapeworms? Can my other dog "catch" this? They are both on the heartworm tabs (interceptor) and had thier last one on 10/1/09. What do I do and what do you think they are?

If the tiny worms resemble pieces of uncooked rice, they are tapeworm segments. Tapeworms are usually gotten from the ingestion of infected fleas, so if your dogs are not currently on a monthly flea preventative like Advantage, Frontline Plus, Revolution, available at your vet or online, it will be necessary to start them on one of these flea treatments.

Tapeworms can be treated with an effective worming med from the vet, which I advise, after bringing a sample of the worms to your vet with your dog, for a definite diagnosis.

Yes, your other dog can 'catch' this, especially if they groom each other and share the same space.

I hope all will be well with both your dogs.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Can I get the tapeworms? Are the "pieces" that are dry, dead? Can they even reinfect the dogs after I treat them? (just by being in the carpet or something?) I am a nervous wreck now and feel like my skin is crawling

While tapeworms can be communicable to humans, unless you touch the worms or your dog's rear end then put your fingers in your mouth without washing your hands (I know, YUCK!), you will not get them. However, what may be in your carpet are flea eggs and/or larvae, so at the same time you have your dogs treated with a monthly flea preventative from your vet, you need to have your home and/or garden/yard (if applicable) treated by a professional exterminator who specializes in fleas. If you're in the USA, I've used Fleabusters, and they were great, if you can find one in your area.

Dried ones look like sesame seeds and of no danger. Vacuum thoroughly and wash your dogs' bedding in hot water and detergent. Throw out anything that is not washable, like dog beds, toys made of cloth, etc., and wash everything else.

I know the skin crawling feeling, but don't worry, tapeworms are not that kind of worm. They will not reproduce outside the dog and they don't cause itching (I know you meant 'skin crawling' figuratively, but still, believe me, I know the feeling). However, remember, you still need to bring a sample of the worms and your dog to the vet for a definite diagnosis.

All my best,
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