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Tapeworm and pregnancy

(21 Posts)
Southwestwhippet Mon 24-Aug-09 09:13:42

Can't find anything about this on internet. Basically, my (poor) little dog has tapeworm. I won't go into the whole story of how I know becuase I am aware that many people on this thread are suffering from bad MS and I don't want to upset anyone. grin

I'm worried I could have it too because I am pretty snuggly with my dogs, they sleep in the bed ATM as my OH is away and I get scared at night on my own. Also I let them lick my face sometimes.

I'm going to GP for a chat tomorrow but does anyone know if tapeworm can cross placenta/cause untold damage to unborn babies etc? And can I take the normal remedies if I'm pregnant?

thank you

MrsBadger Mon 24-Aug-09 09:32:04

get to the GP and obv get the dogs wormed asap

she should do a blood test to see if you've been exposed to it

iirc the biggest risk with canine tapeworm (echinococcus) re pg is that if you have had it for months or years it can cause quite big cysts, usu on the liver, which can make things awkward as the baby grows.

Southwestwhippet Mon 24-Aug-09 18:02:07

Thank you, I went to the vet this morning and he seemed to think it very unlikely that I would 'catch' it off the dogs. I think he basically said it was impossible unless we had both eaten an infected flea hmm Seeing as dogs most likely found the flea whilst eating a rabbit they had caught, he feels confindent unless I ate raw rabbit too I am fine.

However, I'm going to speak to my GP as well just to set my mind at rest

MrsBadger Mon 24-Aug-09 18:29:47


I hate to undermine your vet but true canine tapeworm (echinococcus) isn't transmitted by fleas but by dog poo
but it is a few years since I did my parasitology training...

Southwestwhippet Mon 24-Aug-09 19:52:08


I will check with the GP tomorrow.


arolf Mon 24-Aug-09 21:02:46

Echinococcus is pretty rare though - is it definitely Echinococcus, or another doggy worm, such as Dipylidium caninum (which is the most common dog tapeworm by a long long way, and is transmitted by fleas - unlike E. granulosus!)? if that is the case, I really would not worry!

beautifulgirls Mon 24-Aug-09 21:25:36

The vet is basing information on the most likely tapeworm type that arolf has already explained is dipylidium caninum. This is not a human health hazzard, just unpleasant to deal with in your pet. Sorry to those with sickness, but if you see rice grain like segments - either dry or if just passed then soft and maybe even moving, then this is most likely the type of worm that is involved. A decent wormer from the vet should sort it out, and then try and avoid the rabbit eating etc in the future, as the intermediate host of fleas on the rabbit (mice etc) is where they come from to infect the dog. It is a commonly found tapeworm in cats as they hunt a lot, less common in dogs but can happen.
Echinococcus is rare in this country - yes it is good to speak to your GP - they should know much more about your health than your vet anyway, but I think you really don't likely have much to worry about.
I am a vet and spending my pregnant days dealing with pretty much everything I usually deal with and have no concerns for my health or that of my baby, given sensible hygeine day to day.

MrsBadger Tue 25-Aug-09 08:35:07

aha, my human parasitology bias got the better of me - I stand corrected smile

Thandeka Tue 25-Aug-09 08:40:34

Awww I love mumsnet and its random parasitology knowledge of posters.

I did parasitology at university and made me feel quite nostalgic!

As you were.

arolf Tue 25-Aug-09 09:33:02

ooh, thandeka - where did you study? I did parasitology too

Thandeka Tue 25-Aug-09 10:54:50

Edinburgh. Graduated in Zoology but did every parasitology and reproductive physiology course offered as they were my faves. I now work in sexual health- go figure!

arolf Tue 25-Aug-09 11:00:30

ah, our rivals I was on the other side of the country! parasitology is awesome, I still work in it now, and love it! (although I don't do worms anymore, much keener on the protozoa!)

MrsBadger Tue 25-Aug-09 11:03:35

[retreats to safety of bacteria and viruses]


Southwestwhippet Tue 25-Aug-09 11:05:41

LOL I am laughing at the 'avoid the rabbit eating in future' comment. Try explaining that to two whippets on the hunt grin

Still, thank you everyone for the advice, I feel reassured but will double check with GP.

Thandeka Tue 25-Aug-09 11:09:05

Ah but you never experienced the joys of Bernard Matthews who was the most awesome lecturer ever in the world and shares name with turkey farmer of same name!

I only liked trichomonas vaginalis for the fact "causes a green frothy foul smelling discharge" whichalways made me laugh/heave! but my fave parasites still are Pthithuris Pubis and any good old kissing bug. Now I see why I moved into sexual health- obsessed me!

Bacteria and viruses scare me- as do protozoa- I like the big bugs better. Oooh ascaris lumbricoides is another fave.

Awww I so should go back into parasites!

arolf Tue 25-Aug-09 11:26:48

we had some pretty good lecturers over in Glasgow, thank you very much!

my faves were Naegleria fowleri, as it's just so utterly horrendous, and any of the trypanosomes - so so pretty!

I liked worms for a while, but they aren't as exciting as protozoa for some reason. Kissing bugs are cool, but only for the parasite they transmit like tsetse flies, which transmit another lovely tryp!

I just find bacteria and viruses kind of dull - they don't DO anything when you look at them under a microscope - now protozoa, on the other hand!

beautifulgirls Tue 25-Aug-09 11:30:33

Glad I stuck with the hosts!! grin

MrsBadger Tue 25-Aug-09 12:00:46

rofl at 'not doing anything under the microscope' grin

by the time you've made and iodine-stained a faecal film even parasites won't do much...

[goes back to nice clean agar plates and cell culture flasks]

arolf Tue 25-Aug-09 13:17:00

oh, but a thin blood film of T. brucei - swoon! they are just so pretty.

I only really did live cell staining, so they were always wriggling and beautiful to me

Thandeka Tue 25-Aug-09 17:48:31

see you would NEVER get this conversation over at netmums!

MrsBadger Tue 25-Aug-09 18:31:27

oh I know!

I do love MN

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