Tapeworms are not transmitted from Beagle to Beagle, as they require secondary hosts. A variety of species use rodents, deer, ground birds, or fleas for their secondary hosts. In order to be infected a Beagle must eat part of the carcass of one of these hosts. A heavily infested dog will have a dry coat and appear thin and wasteful, as tapeworms compete for food with their host.
The head of the tapeworm (the scolex) attaches itself to the lining of the Beagle’s intestine where its segmented body will grow to enormous lengths. A tapeworm diagnosis is not made by an examination of a stool sample, it is made by finding a tiny, white segment attached to the hair around the dog’s anus or located on the surface of her stool.
When treating for tapeworm, killing the parasite is only half the treatment. It is equally important to control the Beagle’s consumption of host material. This means it is necessary to control flea populations and keeping your dog from eating roadkill such as rabbits, deer, and other types of rodents.