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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19108
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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I am pretty positve my dog has tapeworm. she is hacking

Customer Question

Hi i am pretty positve my dog has tapeworm. she is hacking and vomiting, also i saw a moving "grain of rice" in her poop this morning. the vet wants a stool sample and i am concerned i will get a false negative
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 years ago.
Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 15 years. Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear about your girl's situation. If you saw a "moving grain of rice" in her stool, that is pretty suspect for a proglotid segment of a tapeworm - basically a segment of a tapeworm. It is always recommended to do a stool sample to make sure that other parasites are screened for too. Tapeworms typically don't cause hacking and vomiting, so that is a good reason for why your vet wants to do the stool sample. You are very correct in that a false negative sample can definitely happen with tapeworm infestations. They don't typically release eggs in the stool, so identifying the proglotid segments on the stool or on the rectal region is typically how they are diagnosed. What you could do to help your vet is to take a photo of what you're seeing and to also bring that sample in as it won't get away in a plastic bag. Treating tapeworms is a different medication than treating other worms so your vet wants to make sure they do their best to help her out.