Atlas of livestock parasites
digitized collection of microscopical preparations

Atlas of Parasites Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Dipylidium caninum



Untitled document


"double-pored or cucumber seed tapeworm or flea tapeworm"   

Distribution: Worldwide.   

Host: Small intestine of dogs, cats and foxes. Dipylidium caninum is also known as common dog flea tapeworm, flea tapeworm, cucumber seed tapeworm, and creeping seeds. The definitive hosts for Dipylidium caninum are dogs, cats, foxes, and sometimes humans. The intermediate host is a flea or a louse (lice). Prepatent period lasts 3 weeks, patent period: several months.

Life Cycle: Animals acquire infection through the ingestion of larval cysticercoids contained in fleas or, less frequently, in chewing lice (Trichodectes, Felicola). Arthropod intermediate hosts become infected by the ingestion of egg packets/segments.  

Diagnosis: Tapeworm segments in the perianal area or in feces are often observed by owners. Specifc diagnosis is made by identifcation of egg packets recovered from segments.  Occasionally, eggs and/or egg packets are detected on fecal fotation examinations. Egg packets contain 2–63 eggs (average of 25–30 eggs).               

Size: 120–200µm Eggs in packets  

Size: 35–60µm Eggs 

Clinical features: Infections of this common tapeworm are generally subclinical; however, the passage of segments from the rectum may induce anal pruritis. Dipylidium caninum is zoonotic, with young children at greatest risk of acquiring infections from ingesting the infected fea or louse  intermediate host.      


No picture to show.

<<< Back