Taxonomy: f. Dilepididae
Animal: Dipylidium caninum (pathology) 5 01.jpg
Dipylidium caninum scolex - 250 - 500 microns wide, 4 deeply cupped oval suckers and a club shaped rostellum with 30 - 150 spines arranged in 1 to 7 circlets. Each spine or hook can protrude to a length of 185 microns or be completly retracted into the scolex. The number of circlets depends on age and trauma. D. caninum is the common tapeworm of dogs and cats and occasionally humans. Cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis felis are the intermediate hosts. People are infected through accidental ingestion of infected fleas or being licked on the mouth by the dog whose saliva contains the released metacestodes from infected fleas. It is usually children less than 8 years that are infected (one third of cases are infants less than 6 months of age). Infection with this tapeworm may have an age related resistance and it also favours a milk diet.
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