The Adventures of Django and Arya

Tapeworm Treatment

When travelling with your dog to certain countries, a Tapeworm Treatment for dogs must be administered due to possible tapeworm infestation from flea bites. If you’re entering the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta with your dog, they must be treated for Tapeworms (Cestodes) within the timescales specified. This is typically no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours prior to travel. You can be refused entry, or your pooch might be quarantined if the Tapeworm Treatment isn’t administered within the timescales by a licensed vet. This can pose issues for those travelling by pet friendly Ferry from France, so many people opt to use a veterinarian in France to administer the Tapeworm Treatment. It absolutely has to be recorded on the Pet Passport, Animal Health Certificate or Pet Health Certificate by a registered vet. No exceptions! If you don’t follow the rule, your dog could be refused entry and put into quarantine. While cats, and humans, can also develop Tapeworm, Keep reading to find out about the Tapeworm Treatment required for dogs entering certain countries.

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Which Countries Require a Tapeworm Treatment for Dogs?

When you take your dog to the following countries, they must have a Tapeworm Treatment within 1-5 days prior to arrival:

These countries are Tapeworm free, and require the Treatment to ensure the parasite isn’t brought in from another location. So, if you’re entering these destinations with a dog, you must factor in the Tapeworm Treatment is needed between 24 hours and 120 hours prior to arrival. If you’re travelling between these countries, without any other stopovers with your dog, the Tapeworm Treatment isn’t required. For instance, direct travel between Scotland and Malta with a dog doesn’t require a Tapeworm Treatment.

What is Tapeworm?

Flat and segmented in appearance, Tapeworms are a type of intestinal parasite known as cestodes. The adult tapeworm is made up of many small segments, called proglottids, each about the size of a grain of rice. Adult tapeworms may measure 4-28 inches in length. As the tapeworm matures inside the intestine, these segments break off and pass into the stool.

There are several common tapeworm species in the cestode family of worms that can affect dogs, including:

  • Taenia
  • Echinococcus
  • Metacestoides
  • Dipylidium caninum

Tapeworms are common parasites found across the globe which can affect humans and cats too. However, cats don’t need to be treated for tapeworm for travel purposes, nor do us humans!

How do Dogs get Tapeworm?

Tapeworms can be passed to your dog by fleas, which act as an intermediate host. When the tapeworm eggs are released, they must be ingested by flea larvae, an early stage of the flea life cycle. Once inside the larval flea, the tapeworm egg continues to grow as the flea matures to the adult stage. The adult flea can then transfer the tapeworm parasite to a dog if the dog ingests the flea while grooming, or during a reaction to a flea bite. When the Tapeworms hatch inside an animal, they hook themselves to the lining of the small intestines. As Tapeworms have both male and female reproductive organs, they can produce eggs, which are then passed out through the faeces of the host.

tapeworm treatment prevention cure medicine dogs cats pets fleas countries parasite
Fleas Tapeworm Life Cycle in Cats & Dogs

What symptoms do Tapeworms cause in Dogs?

Tapeworms can affect your dog’s holistic health, and in general make them withdrawn due to the painful gastrointestinal symptoms. Thankfully, tapeworm infestations are not usually dangerous or life threatening, and can easily be treated.

Weight loss may occur if your pet is heavily infected. Sometimes, an infected dog will ‘scoot’ or drag its rear across the floor because the segments are irritating their skin.

How do I know if my dog has Tapeworm?

Normally, you will see a segment of tapeworm in your dog’s faeces, but you may also see a portion crawling near your dog’s anus.

Sometimes, a segment of the tapeworm will be passed when the dog vomits. If this happens, (cover your eyes!) a worm several inches long may be seen.

How is Tapeworm treated?

To treat Tapeworm transmission from fleas to dogs, a prescription treatment named praziquantel is administered, either orally or by injection.

The flea borne Tapeworm Treatment for dogs and other animals causes the Tapeworms to dissolve within the intestine. As the worms are usually digested before they pass, they probably won’t be visible in your dog’s stool. The Tapeworm Treatment medication is generally well-tolerated.

What Tapeworm Treatment is required to enter the UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta & Norway with a pet?

To avoid refusal of entry, or your pet being quarantined, the treatment must:

  • be approved for use in the country where the treatment is applied
  • contain praziquantel or an equivalent proven to be effective against tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis)

Details of the Tapeworm Treatment must be recorded on your dog’s Pet Passport, Animal Health Certificate or Pet Health Certificate. You don’t need to treat your dog for Tapeworms if you’re travelling directly between the UK, Finland, Ireland, Norway or Malta, as these locations are Tapeworm free.

How to protect Dogs against Tapeworm

First and foremost, prevention is the best way to protect your dog from the possibility of a tapeworm infestation from flea bites. To do so, a regular flea medication and a good flea collar should do the trick. For our three dogs, we use Bravecto quarterly tick and flea tablets, along with a Scalibor Dog Protection Band, and so far so good!

Still, even with these measures, and no outward signs of tapeworm parasites, our dogs will still require the Tapeworm Treatment when traveling to the UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta or Norway.

Tapeworm Treatment for Dogs in France

The timescales relating to Tapeworm Treatment for dogs apply to your arrival time in one of the countries mentioned.

For example, let’s say you’re on an EU holiday with your pet, in Italy, Portugal or further east, and you’re returning to the UK via Eurotunnel Le Shuttle from Calais, France. Taking into account time taken to reach France, then the trip itself, you have to ensure that your dog’s Tapeworm Treatment is administered between 24 to 120 hours prior to arrival in the UK.

If, when you arrive in the UK, due to travel timescales the Tapeworm Treatment works out at being administered 125 hours prior to entry, your dog may be refused entry and put into quarantine. If you’re taking a pet friendly ferry instead, the sailing takes much longer than Eurotunnel, so you must take this into account too.

Some pet owners opt to use a veterinarian in France to administer the Tapeworm Treatment for their dog, to ensure timescales are met. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle offers a list of veterinarians close to their depot in Calais, France, who offer Tapeworm Treatments for dogs.

It’s really important that the medication is given to your dog within the timeframe, so be sure to plan your dog travel adventure accordingly.

Check out other diseases to look out for when you travel with your cat or dog, and remember to leave a review for your chosen destination!

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