Skip to content

Dipylidium (Tapeworm)

Dipylidium caninum is a common tapeworm found in cats and dogs that is spread by an infected flea. Tapeworms are worms that live inside humans and animals. Tapeworms are usually not harmful to your pets but can be spread from animal to human.


How can I get sick?

  • Accidentally eating an infected* flea from your cat or dog.

Symptoms in humans:

  • Finding pieces of tapeworm* in your poop that look like rice (small, hard and yellow).

Symptoms in animals:

  • Cats or dogs usually do not look sick. You might find pieces of the tapeworm* (small, hard and yellow) on their fur by the butt or in their poop.

What can I do to stay healthy?

  • Make sure your dogs or cats do not have fleas.
    • Take your dog or cat to the veterinarian if you are worried about fleas or to get information on how to keep fleas away.
  • Always wash your hands after playing with your pets or after playing outside.
    • Proper Handwashing Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to scrub your thumbs, between your fingers and the tops and bottoms of your hands. Dry your hands with a paper towel.


  • Infected: When germs get inside of a body, animal, or an organism.
  • Tapeworms: A worm that lives in the intestines of some humans and animals.

Species Affected

Learn About Other Diseases

Click below to learn more about the many different diseases that can spread between animals and humans.