intact tapeworm
tapeworm segments breaking off
Tapeworms, also known as Cestodes, are the most common parasite of adult dogs and cats. Most dogs and cats become infected with tapeworms because they have fleas! Eliminating fleas is important for many reasons, tapeworms is just one of them.

In my opinion, the only safe and effective OVER THE COUNTER flea products are Advantage, Frontline, or the new generic Frontline, Pet Armor. There are several other very good prescription products available from your veterinarian. PLEASE, DO NOT USE FLEA COLLARS, SPRAYS  OR ANY OTHER OVER THE COUNTER FLEA PRODUCTS! They are not effective and many are insecticides and very toxic, especially to cats! A flea collar is nothing but a poison necklace!
The Tapeworm lives in the small intestine of an animal and can be anywhere from 1" to several feet long. The Tapeworm's head fastens to the intestinal wall of the animal and the body of the Tapeworm is made up of segments that contain egg packets. These segments are called Proglottids.These segments break off and pass out of the body in the feces. A fresh Tapeworm segment is @ 1/4 " long and can be seen as white, flat and moving. You might also see these segments in the fur around the tail and anal area or in the pets bedding. Once the segment dries out, it looks like a grain of rice.

The most common species of tapeworm is the Dipylidium Caninum. This is the tapeworm that dogs and cats get from ingesting an infected flea. The flea becomes infected by eating tapeworm eggs. When dogs and cats have fleas, they groom their fur and bite at their skin, this causes them to swallow a flea.
If the flea is infected with immature tapeworms, your pet will now have tapeworms.
Not as common but, if your pet has Lice, they can get tapeworms when grooming and swallowing infected Lice, as well. 

Another species of tapeworm commonly found in cats is called Taenia Taeniaformis. This type of tapeworm is acquired when a cat hunts and eats rodents. If the rodent is infected with tapeworms, the cat will become infected as well. Taenia is most commonly found in cats but, dogs can also become infected with Taenia if they are eating rodents, raw meat, raw freshwater fish or raw animal parts.

There are also a few other, less common but more dangerous, species of tapeworms found in certain parts of the country. To avoid any tapeworm infestation in your pets, you should eliminate fleas and
not allow your dogs or cats to roam and eat rodents, raw meat, raw game or raw freshwater fish.

If your dog or cat does become infected with tapeworms, the only effective
deworming ingredient that eliminates all species of tapeworms is called Praziquantel. 
Dewormers that contain Praziquantal have always been available through your veterinarian.
Recently Praziquantal has become available, over the counter, at a few Pet Retailers.
It is expensive, but it is the only ingredient that will eliminate both Dipylidium
and Taenia tapeworms.

Remember, If you don't eliminate the source of your pets tapeworm infection, fleas, etc.
In a very short time, they will have tapeworms again!

I hope this information was useful.
Thank you so much for visiting!
Please come back soon!
Until then, Kelly

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If your dog has a lot of fleas because they're not on flea preventitive, Capstar is a FAST, SAFE immediate kill for the fleas on your dog or cat. It doesn't last, so it's perfect to use before you start a monthly treatment. It is sold by weight range of pet. I didn't realize that Capstar was over the counter, until now!
Pet Armor is the new generic product for Frontline. Same active ingredient and costs less.
I love this product !
DNA Testing for mixed breed dogs is a great service!

As mentioned in another article " What you need to know before adopting a new dog ",
the behavioral characteristics in each breeds genetic makeup are very strong. A mixed breed dog will usually resemble one of it's breeds but, the other breed or breeds in his ancestry are a mystery. With a DNA test you can find out what percentage of each breed is in his mix. You can obtain your dogs DNA sample at home. It is simple and non invasive. All that's needed is a cheek swab sample. The swab is included in a test kit and you just send it in with your paperwork. The whole process is very easy and affordable.

Wisdom Panel provides a cheek swab DNA test designed to reveal the ancestry of mixed-breed dogs. Knowing a dog’s breed helps owners target behavior training, be smarter about nutritional planning and plan exercise activities that make the dog happy. The tests are easy to use and Wisdom Panel provides owners with an easy to read, detailed report on the dog’s breed.

Click on link to view a sample Mixed Breed Report

I hope you have found this information helpful!
Thanks for visiting!
Until next time,

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Quizzes and Informative Articles will help any pet owner become more knowledgeable and confident about pet care and health.

I love this picture!
It is possibly my favorite photo of all time!
It makes me feel like ALL IS WELL!

Until next time,

Test Your Animal Knowledge Quiz # 2

  •  About how long is a dog's pregnancy ?
  •  6 months 
  •  4 months
  •  2 months
  •  9 months
  •  What does gestation mean ?
  • The age of an animal 
  • The length of pregnancy 
  •  The length of the heat cycle
  •  Where the animal lives
  •  What is the average age that most dogs come into heat ?
  • 1 year 
  • 3 months 
  • 9 months  
  • 6 months
  • At what age can a kitten be weaned from its mom ?
  •  4 weeks 
  •  1 week 
  • 12 weeks 
  •  8 weeks
  •  At what age should a kitten start learning to eat soft cat food ?
  •  2 weeks
  •  8 weeks   
  • 4 weeks 
  • 10 weeks
  • At what age should a puppy start learning to eat soft dog food ?
  •  2 weeks
  •  8 weeks 
  • 10 weeks  
  •  4 weeks
  • How long is a dog in heat ?
  •  1 week  
  •  3 weeks 
  •  4 weeks 
  •  2 weeks
  • What breed of dog usually has a C -Section to deliver puppies ?
  • Chihuahua 
  •  Boxer  
  • Bulldog 
  • Min. Poodle
  • What type of tapeworm comes from fleas ? 
  • Dipylidium 
  • Diphyllobothrium 
  •  Echinococcus 
  • Taenia
  • What deworming ingredient eliminates all tapeworms ?
  •  fenbendazole 
  •  praziquantal 
  •  ivermectin 
  •  pyrantal poamate

        Correct answers Quiz #2
  • About how long is a dog's pregnancy ?  2 months 
  • What does gestation mean ?  The length of pregnancy  
  • What is the average age that dogs come into heat ?  6 months
  • At what age can a kitten be weaned from its mom ?  8 weeks
  • At what age should a kitten start learning to eat soft cat food ? 4 weeks  
  • At what age should a puppy start learning to eat soft dog food ? 4 weeks
  • How long is a dog in heat ? 3 weeks  
  • What breed of dog usually has a C -Section to deliver puppies ?  Bulldog  
  • What type of tapeworm comes from fleas ?  Dipylidium  
  • What deworming ingredient eliminates all tapeworms ?  Praziquantal  

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Take the Test your Animal Knowledge Quiz #1

Record your answers on a separate sheet of paper,
then, check your answers at the bottom of this post.

1) How often should you check a puppies' collar for the
     correct fit ?
a) monthly
b) weekly
c) every 3 months
d) daily
2) What intestinal parasite can cause blindness in humans ?

a) whipworm
b) tapeworm
c) roundworm
d) hookworm
3) What can cause pancreatitis in dogs?
a) eating bones
b) eating onions
c) eating fatty foods
d) eating raw meat
4) What is the most common cause of allergies in pets ?
a) dust
b) food
c) grass
d) fleas
5) A puppy or kitten should have a series of vaccinations through what age ?
a) 8 weeks
b) 16 weeks
c) 12 weeks
d) 6 months
6) What is the most common illness in shelter animals ?

a) parvo
b) upper respiratory illness
c) giardia
d) mange
7) What is the vaccination name for " Kennel Cough " ?

a) parvo
b) distemper
c) bordetella
d) corona
8) What is the name for feline " Parvo Virus " ?
a) Panleukopenia
b) Rhinotracheitis
c) URI
d) Calici

9) What type of external parasite is NOT contagious ?
a) Demodex mange
b) Sarcoptic mange
10) What animal is a marsupial ?
a) turtle
b) rat
c) skunk
d) opossum
11) What is a common illness of intact female dogs ?
a) anemia
b) pyometra
c) allergies
d) obesity

Hope you enjoyed the quiz!
Check your answers below

Test your animal knowledge quiz # 2
1) B            7) C
2) C            8) A          
3) C            9) A
4) D          10) D
5) B          11) B
6) B

Keep scrolling to see all previous posts.
Contact me with any questions or comments!
Thanks, Kelly

I wanted to share this interesting video with you.
It shows the X rays of a few pets who have eaten some very strange things.

Puppies aren't the only ones who chew up and eat strange things!
I have seen cats who have eaten string, yarn, a bag of hair ties, tinsel, a needle with the thread attached and a chain necklace.
I have seen dogs who have eaten rocks, toys, plastic, coins, carpet, rags, socks, tinsel and a fishing line with the hook attached.

I remember one dog who had a habit of eating rocks. He had to have surgery 3 different times to remove rocks from his stomach. I've known several dogs that love to eat socks.

If you find evidence that your pet may have possibly ingested a foreign object you should take them to a veterinarian right away. The first symptoms of a blockage are usually, going off feed and/or vomiting.
By seeking veterinary attention before any symptoms develop, your veterinarian may have more options regarding removal of the object than they may have if you wait a few days.

With Christmas approaching, never leave your dog or cat unsupervised around the tree and decorations.
It's been my experience that both dogs and cats seem to
enjoy eating Tinsel!

Thank you for reading!
Until next time, Kelly
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Remember to check collars

Believe it or not, collars are a very common cause of problems for your pets.

While working at Veterinary Hospitals and Animal Shelters, I witnessed many, many unnecessary problems due to ill fitting collars. These problems ranged from sores to lacerations to flesh literally growing through the links of a chain collar!

The most common problem is when a puppy or kitten is growing and their collar isn't adjusted often enough. When your pet is growing, you need to check the collar weekly!  Adjust the collar so that you can easily place 2 - 3 fingers between the collar and the neck at all times.

If you are using the collar for leash walking, a properly fitted collar will pull off and isn't the best choice, anyway. I recommend using a harness for leash walking. Harnesses are much safer for walking your pet. They won't pull off, they won't cause an injury to the neck and you will have much better control of your pet. It's best to remove the harness after walking because I've also seen harnesses cause pressure sores and lacerations when left on for extended periods.

Choke chain collars can also cause problems if they are placed on the neck improperly. The end of the chain that pulls and tightens should be placed above the other ring, not below it. If it is placed below the stationary ring, the weight of the chain and ring will hang and tighten around the neck. I have seen this cause problems, as well.

Remember to check collars, weekly, on growing puppies and kittens. Adults dogs and cats need to be checked periodically, as well. Adults can also get pressure sores and lacerations if the collar is too tight or heavy.

If you want a collar on your kitten or cat, make sure it is a thin, very lightweight, break away collar. A breakaway collar will come apart if it gets stuck on something. I don't recommend collars for "indoor only" cats or kittens because when they jump, they tend to get their collars caught on things.

Now that you are aware of some of the problems that neglected and ill fitting collars can cause pets. Please help me bring awareness of this problem by checking the collars of all dogs and cats you come into contact with. Friends, relatives, etc. You will be surprised at how many collars need adjustment. Thank you for your help!

I hope this information was helpful!
Thank you for reading!
Please contact me with any questions or comments.
Until next time,
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on pet supplies

As Featured On EzineArticles
" Can't Blame the Dog "

This story takes place while I was working at a very large Animal Shelter.
When you work at an Animal Shelter, you should NEVER take any animals aggressive behavior personally. In fact, that is one of the biggest mistakes people make when working with shelter animals. Very few of the shelter dogs are truly aggressive, most are just reverting back to a survival mentality! And can you blame them? They are scared, they don't know what your intentions are and they are in a strange and loud environment.

I have only been bitten once in my entire life, and it was my fault for not listening to what the dog was trying to tell me. If you pay attention to their body language, you should never get bitten!

My bite experience was actually more like an attack! I had removed a large mixed breed dog from his kennel and had already examined and vaccinated him outside the kennel. He was possibly a Shepherd / Akita mix?  When I was finished, he did not want to return back into his kennel. There was another large dog in the kennel that must have been dominating him. I was in a big hurry and didn't pay attention to his body language. I proceeded to place him into the kennel and blocked the gate opening with my body. As I backed out of the kennel,  he ran towards me and tried to escape. My legs were blocking the exit, he grabbed a hold of my leg. I pried his mouth off my leg and he then grabbed my wrist!  He started shaking my arm and when I moved aside from the gate opening, he let go and ran loose onto the shelter grounds.

I was in shock and devastated!  My feelings were hurt more than my physical wounds. I respected and loved every one of them and I felt that they understood that. Also, because I had already examined and vaccinated him with no problems, the aggressive behavior was totally unexpected!

I realized later that it was my fault. I should have payed attention to his unwillingness to return to the kennel. He was trying to show me something and I was not paying attention. I was too rushed to notice and I don't blame him for my mistake. The signs were there and I wasn't appreciating them.

I think that experience was actually a good lesson for me because I was in a rush and not listening to him. He obviously felt that he had to go to plan B. When a dog goes to plan B, it's usually only because you missed the warning signs.

The signs are usually very clear and if we will take the time to listen, there is no reason to ever get bitten. Most dogs only resort to aggressive behavior when they have no other option.

Thanks for reading my story!
Many more to come...
Until next time,

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