Tapeworms and Wolves OH MY!!

May 16, 2010

The anti-wolfers are raging with the NEXT big wolf scare issue.

They’ve just made a startling discovery. Are you ready? Some wolves carry tapeworms. OMG what a shock!! Canines carry tapeworms??

I hate to break it to all the haters foaming at the mouth about tapeworms but DOGS carry tapeworms, so do foxes and coyotes.

CANINES carry tapeworms!

There are 72 million dogs in the United States alone and many of them carry tapeworms. At most there are 5500 wolves in the lower forty-eight, if you combine the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes wolf population.

So if wolf haters want to get worried and scared about tapeworms or the big scary Latin word they like to throw around, Echinococcus granulosus, then they better start worrying about the canines they already live with, since they are far more likely to come in contact with dogs then wolves.

Does it ever end with these people? Talk about hysteria. How long have we been living with dogs??

Here’s the spine-chilling details. Better break out your dog worming medications!!

Posted on October 8, 2008 by Maureen Anderson

Echinococcus granulosus is a tapeworm of dogs that causes a condition known as hydatid disease or hydatidosis in humans.  The parasite is found in many parts of the world, and is very common in some regions of southern South America, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, southwestern Asia, northern Africa and Australia.  To the best of our knowledge, E. granulosus does not occur in southern Ontario, but it is present in other parts of Canada including the western provinces and northern Ontario.  A related, but much nastier, tapeworm called Echinococcus multilocularis is much less commonly found in North America. (*which is carried in foxes, coyotes, dogs and cats.)

A previous Worms & Germs post described what is known as the sylvatic cycle of Echinococcus granulosus, which is thought to be a common route of infection for dogs in Canada.  In the sylvatic cycle, dogs become infected with Echinococcus by eating the internal organs (usually lungs and liver) of wild game such as moose and caribou.  The dogs then pass tapeworm eggs in their stool, which can cause infection in other wild animals (thus continuing the cycle) or in people who accidentally swallow the eggs.  In humans, Echinococcus forms slow-growing cysts (called hydatid cysts) in different organs of the body which can be very difficult to remove or treat in some cases.

Echinococcus also has a pastoral or domestic cycle.  In this cycle, dogs acquire the parasite by eating the internal organs of infected sheep, and sometimes other livestock such as cattle and swine.  This cycle is potentially very important in areas where there is a lot of sheep farming.  In some areas of Latin America, 20-95% of sheep at slaughter may have evidence of hydatid cysts in their organs.

It is much more difficult to tell when a dog is infected with Echinococcus compared to other tapeworms such as Taenia or Dipylidium.  An adult Echinococcus is tiny – only a few milimetres long (see picture right), very unlike the long, stringy white tapeworms that most people picture.  Dogs can carry hundreds, even thousands of these tiny tapeworms without showing any signs of illness at all.  The eggs can sometimes be difficult to detect on fecal examinations, and when they are seen they cannot be differentiated from Taenia eggs.  Nonetheless, this is still the best way to detect infection, so fecal examinations should be performed regularly.


  • In areas where Echinococcus is known to exist, it’s important to have your veterinarian perform fecal examinations on your dog’s stool more frequently than the usual once-a-year, because of the serious zoonotic potential of this parasite.
  • Always wash your hands well after handling dog stools.
  • Do not let your dog eat uncooked meat, or the organs from farm animals or wild game.


*italics mine


Dog Photos: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, wolf intolerance, Dogs

Tags: deworming, dogs, tapeworm, wolf hysteria, wolf persecution

Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm  Comments (21)  
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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice, informative post Nabeki, although I have to agree with you: finding out that some wolves have tapeworms wasn’t a big surprise. Just another excuse for wolf haters to make a canine species the “big, bad wolf” from Red Riding Hood.

    Not a surprise either is that mange is NOT native to the west!!!! This may come as a shock to some, that mange is NOT native, but was introduced to kill as many wolves as possible 100 years ago. Imagine that.


    • Hi g….I felt I had to say something about this because it’s such a non-starter as an issue. We have 72 million dogs in this country, many of whom carry tapeworms. We’ve been living with our dogs quite nicely for thousands of years. I don’t know anyone thats contracted hydatid disease from their dogs. Yet the haters are so worried the tiny wolf population is carrying worms. What next? Werewolves?



  2. Beware of the Great Worm! [insert ‘Psycho’ Theme]
    Wolves’ diet chiefly comprises the meat of other animals – but if the anti-wolf folk would like to know, ungulates can harbour some very nasty parasites and diseases as well. Anyone with half a brain can figure that out.


    • Hi John,
      This reminds me of Dune, the worms are coming to get us!! It’s so ridiculous. Not saying that canines don’t carry tapeworms but that is nothing new at all. Cats even carry them. But of course they have to come up with something to try and scare people. As I said they are throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. People need to be informed and not just take someone’s word that’s parroting what they heard. That’s why I felt compelled to write this.



      • Well we all know that wolves plan to take over the world by sending demonic psychic messages ordering the ones of their species that have allowed themselves to be captured (because of their beauty in the eyes of pot smoking treehuggers) to reproduce by planting their embryos in human chests via exchange of saliva when licking human keepers and tourist faces and then their embryos, upon having reached maturity, will split open the ribca….*



      • Good one John…lol. It’s “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”



    • As well, wonder what is in your average grocery store hamburger or steak? What do they feeds those slaughter cows and pigs??

      Back to the subject tho- tapeworms- I guess they offer more protein!


  3. Great post! I saw that on the “Save Elk” website and was LMAO! OMG! Tapeworms!!! Hello!
    I have a new facebook group for wolves in Alaska… really important since the BOG there has just removed the Denali Buffer zone & a woman was attacked by (presumed) wolves last week in a remote village that has all the anti-wolf idiots grabbin’ their guns!
    Sarah Palin – A danger to wolves and other wildlife
    Cats also have them….


    • Hi Crystalwolf,
      Nice screen name. I really had to do a post on the tapeworm issue because it’s a non-starter. The hysteria around this is laughable. All canines carry tapeworms and I don’t think many of us are walking around with hydatid disease. I even used sheep manure in my garden for fertilizer. What’s happening is they are throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. The livestock depredation issue has been debunked, I think people are waking up to that. So they have find other reasons to demonize wolves.

      I’m going to join your FB page. I totally agree Alaska wolves are in trouble, they are so persecuted. It’s such a shame Gordon Haber was killed, he was their champion.


      • Thank you♥ The wolves need “all hands on deck” so to speak… You are welcome to post articles and pics also.
        Yes Godon is a fallen hero….I’m going to do a note on him shortly…
        There are only 70 Denali wolves! The BOG has also submitted that they do not have to revisit the bufferzone issue for 6 years!!! Six years!
        Here’s what kind of a bastard the BOG listen’s too:
        Coke Wallace!
        Thanks to everyone in this fight to save our precious wolves…I just saw on Nat Geo the other night, a program about a whale that washed ashore…and they said Cetaceans-whales evolved from a wolf like creature….
        Is that why some mankind hate wolves so much and the enlightened ones revere them?
        What ever you thought on this, we must give voice to those who have none. Thanks for all you do, thanks from the bottom of my heart♥
        PS: I used to work for a Veterinary hosp. the Tapeworm issue is a non-issue but these idiots love to stir up FEAR!


  4. The bottom line is that the individuals that hate wolfs are shifting gears to try and find traction on what ever will accomplish their mission of hate and rid the West of wolfs. First it was depredation, then ungulate numbers which have not convinced the public that there is a crisis. Now we will attempt to scare the general public into harboring ill towards this necessary Apex predator. Politicians do it all the time, so the antis are tearing a page out of their play book. Once again lets not over react and research the issue based on solid science. Dont take my word for it but take the time to read the above info and try a google search.


    • Hi Marc,
      This is a complete non issue. There are over 70 million dogs in the is country and many of them carry this tapeworm. How many people do you know that have dogs who are suffering from hydatid disease? It’s just more fear mongering from the anti-wolf crowd.



  5. Check out the article on MSNBC.com about the guy in montana who was stranded for 4 days in the snow. He mentions a silver wolf who came to visit him while he was trapped in his car and how he believed the Wolf was watching over him. I would paste article here but there are copyright issues with that.


    • Hi Shadowfire,
      That sounds like a wonderful story. You can still paste the link. I’d love to read it.



  6. Crystalwolf,
    Coke Wallace “lives to kill” – what about that is to be respected? Damn well should be SCORNED because it puts a bad name onto those that hunt for food. They make it sound so epic when in reality its just some bored, pathetic duh’head out on a power trip.


  7. What a bunch of blathering IDIOTS you all are! The tape worm our dogs carry are not the ones that your Canadian wolves are now infecting our canines with.
    Because of your ignorance your wolves will now be shot on sight. You have been the cause of wolves getting their justice (Montana Style).


    • Wolfscat,
      The only reason I let one of your 20 or so hate filled rants through is to show who the ignorant one is. You have no idea what you’re talking about!!

      First of all braniac, the tapeworm you are so afraid of, Echinococcus granulosus, is the very same tapeworm that is carried by DOGS. In fact, if you did any reading on the subject, instead of repeating the wolf hating rants that are fed to you, you might learn something. CANINES CARRY ECHINOCOCCUS GRANULOSUS. Unless I’m mistaken, domestic dogs are CANINES. Please educate yourself on this matter.

      More about Echinococcus tapeworms in dogs
      Posted on October 8, 2008 by Maureen Anderson


      Secondly wolves that were reintroduced are not MY Canadian wolves. These are wolves that have ranged the Northern Rockies for thousands of years. Also wolves dispersed to Glacier National Park in the early eighties long before wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone and Central Idaho. Yes they were already here!

      Mike Jimenez, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, had this to say about one of the anti-wolf crowds favorite myths:

      “Jimenez disputed claims that the wolves reintroduced from Canada in the mid-1990s are a larger, more aggressive breed than had historically lived in Wyoming.

      While scientists once divided wolves into 24 subspecies, he said more recent DNA evidence shows five subspecies in North America. Further, given the fact that wolves tend to disburse hundreds of miles, he said wolves from Canada likely interbred with Wyoming wolves and vice versa before they were exterminated from the region.

      “The idea that those Canadian wolves are different … the argument gets weak,” he said. “Where they transition from one subspecies to the next is totally up for grabs.”

      Again try doing a little reading instead of believing everything you hear. Even though Mike Jimenez was speaking about Wyoming wolves, it applies to Montana and Idaho as well.

      Stop writing hate filled diatribes to my blog. Don’t you have anything better to do? I have your IP address and email, so don’t think you are anonymous.

      And finally I am not Marc. Please stop addressing your rants to Marc. He does not run this blog.

      Your intolerance and ignorance about wolves is stunning.



  8. Wolfscat, Your lack of intelligence shows.It’s not even worthy to respond to.


    • Hi Rita,
      I won’t be allowing any more of his comments through but wanted to make the point that he has no idea what he’s talking about concerning wolves.



  9. Excuses, excuses and more excuses from wolf-haters, yeah, they probably wouldn’t kill their dog, right? Wolves can get all the diseases that are carried by dogs, because they are technically, DOGS! Just another excuse to kill wolves.


  10. Actually, I wouldn’t even be surprised if they started complaining about wolves carrying rabies.


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