Skip to Content

Dipylidium caninum Infection

By

Richard D. Pearson

, MD, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Mar 2020| Content last modified Mar 2020

Dipylidium caninum is a tapeworm that can cause intestinal infection in humans, 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 (tapeworm segments) 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 (unavailable in the US) 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 (maximum 2 g) once. The infection is self-limited in humans and usually resolves spontaneously in 6 weeks.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Drug Name Select Trade
praziquantel BILTRICIDE

Copyright © 2021 Merck & Co., Inc., known as MSD outside of the US, Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA. All rights reserved. Merck Manual Disclaimer