Taenia spp

From Dog
Taenia pisiformis egg under light microscopy[1]
Adult T. pisiformis[2]

Taenia spp are a common parasitic zoonotic intestinal tapeworm of dogs and cats, found worldwide[3].

Cats are the definitive host for this tapeworm but dogs can become infected through ingestion of rodents (intermediate hosts). Gravis segments containing eggs are passed in feces of dogs and ingested by rodent and hatch in its gut. The hexacanth larva makes its way through the gut wall to the liver where it matures to the infectious second-stage larvae (strobilocerci, cysticerci, coenuri; these are fluid-filled cysts often called a bladder-worm).

When ingested by the dog, the second-stage larvae attaches to the intestinal epithelium via the protoscolex. The rest of the larva is digested away and the tapeworm begins to grow. The pre-patent period is between 36 and 42 days[4].

Species which have been reported in dogs include:

  • Taenia multiceps[5] (forms coeunuri)
  • Taenia ovis (forms cysticerci)
  • Taenia pisiformis (forms cysticerci)
  • Taenia saginata (forms cysticerci)
  • Taenia serialis
  • Taenia hydatigena[6]
  • Taenia crassiceps[7]

Most dogs are asymptomatically infected and co-infections with other parasites is very common[8].

Rare cases of subcutaneous cysticercosis have been reported in dogs[9].

Diagnosis is usually ascertained on coprological evidence of taenia eggs, but PCR assays are now available[10].

Treatment is effective with use of praziquantel, the drug of choice, at 5 mg/kg at 6-weekly intervals[11].

Emodepside has also proven efficacious in proprietary formulations containing this drug with praziquantel[12].


  1. Buckelew
  2. American Museum of Natural History
  3. Bowman, DD et al (2003) Feline clinical parasitology. Iowa University Press, Iowa. pp:211-215
  4. Bowman, DD (2009) Georgis' parasitology for veterinarians. 9th edn. Elsevier Saunders, Missouri
  5. Eslami A et al (2010) Helminth infections of stray dogs from garmsar, semnan province, central iran. Iran J Parasitol 5(4):37-41
  6. Xhaxhiu D et al (2011) Principal intestinal parasites of dogs in Tirana, Albania. Parasitol Res 108(2):341-353
  7. Zurabian R et al (2008) Evagination and infectivity of Taenia crassiceps cysticerci in experimental animals. J Parasitol 94(1):1-6
  8. Beiromvand M et al (2012) Prevalence of zoonotic intestinal parasites in domestic and stray dogs in a rural area of Iran. Prev Vet Med Oct 5
  9. Ballweber LR (2009) Taenia crassiceps subcutaneous cysticercosis in an adult dog. Vet Rec 165(23):693-694
  10. Armua-Fernandez MT et al (2011) Development of PCR/dot blot assay for specific detection and differentiation of taeniid cestode eggs in canids. Parasitol Int 60(1):84-89
  11. Tüzer E et al (2010) Efficacy of praziquantel injectable solution against feline and canine tapeworms. Turkiye Parazitol Derg 34(1):17-20
  12. Schroeder I et al (2009) Efficacy of emodepside plus praziquantel tablets (Profender tablets for dogs) against mature and immature cestode infections in dogs. Parasitol Res 105(1):S31-S38