Treatment for Tapeworm Infections
The antihelminthic drugs such as praziquantel and niclosamide are effective for most intestinal tapeworm infections. Some infections respond to this treatment whereas others like hydatid disease require surgical intervention. Praziquantel is generally well tolerated. The medication causes the tapeworm to dissolve within the intestines. Sometimes more than one treatment is necessary.
Treatment for Hydatid Disease
Hydatid disease is caused by echinococcus granulosis or hydatid tapeworm. This tapeworm is usually found in the intestine of the dog. The hydatid disease is a potentially fatal and serious disease.The common line of treatment for hydatid disease is surgical intervention. One of the major risk factors that are involved in the surgery for hydatid disease is the danger of the hydatid cyst being ruptured. If this happens then numerous tapeworm heads are released into the blood stream of the affected individual. This may cause anaphylactic shock or a life threatening allergic reaction. To reduce this risk, the doctor may prescribe high doses of the drug albendazole in conjunction with surgery. This drug helps to destroy any remaining tapeworm heads.
Some of the common steps that need to be taken in order to avoid tapeworm infestation are as follows:
- Wash hands thoroughly after going to the toilet.
- Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling any food or meat.
- Always wash your hands properly before eating and drinking.
- Store meat in deep freeze for at least 12 hours before cooking.
- Store fish in deep freeze for at least 24 hours before cooking.
- Cook the meat thoroughly to a temperature more than 57° C or 135° F, especially for certain meats such as pork, beef, lamb and fish.
- Inspect meat properly before eating it.
- Avoid eating any raw or undercooked meat.
- It is important to control tapeworm infection in domestic dogs. Infected dogs usually don’t have any symptoms. Don’t assume that your dog isn’t infected just because it seems happy and healthy.
- One must make sure that there is regular preventive de-worming of pets. This is especially important in rural areas where dogs and cats may have access to animal carcasses.
- Take your dog to the vet for diagnosis and treatment for tapeworm infection. Treatment includes regular dosing with anti-tapeworm medicines.
- It is important to dispose dog and cat feces carefully while the pet is undergoing treatment for tapeworm infestation. This can be achieved by using rubber gloves and thoroughly washing and sanitizing your hands after handling dog feces.
- It is also important to maintain the hygiene of the kennel area by thoroughly sanitizing it and keeping it clean.
- If you grow your own vegetables then it is important to make sure that your pet is not allowed access to this area as it may infest the soil through its feces thereby causing human infestation.
- Do not feed your pets with raw undercooked meat.
- Feed your pets with commercially processed pet foods only.