Dipylidium caninum can cause intestinal infection, which is typically asymptomatic.
D. caninum, the double-pored tapeworm, is present in dogs and cats. Fleas are the intermediate host. Ingestion of an infected flea, usually by a young child, causes an asymptomatic, self-limited infection, but proglottids may be seen in stool.
Treatment is with a single oral dose of praziquantel 5 to 10 mg/kg. Alternatively, a single 2-g dose of niclosamide is given as 4 tablets (500 mg each) that are chewed one at a time and swallowed. For children, the dose is 50 mg/kg once.
Last full review/revision December 2009 by Richard D. Pearson, MD