banner.gif (11844 bytes)


Taenia multiceps Homepage

        Common name: Tapeworm

          Kingdom: Animalia

            Phylum: Platyhelminths

              Class: Cestoda

                Order: Cyclophyllidea

                  Family: Taeniidae

                    Genus: Taenia

                      Species: multiceps

Click on the text below to jump down to the desired section of this page.

Adult Parasite:


  • Dogs, foxes, and other canids (definitive).
  • Sheep and other ungulates (intermediate).

Return to top of page

Life Cycle:

    The sheep ingests an egg. The egg hatches in the small intestine and the larval tapeworm burrows through the intestinal wall and travel to the brain and spinal cord via the blood. The coenurus develops in the brain, reaching the infective stage in about 6 to 8 months. (In goats the coenurus can develop in a variety of tissues.) When the dog eats the sheep and ingests the coenurus, the protoscolices attach to the small intestinal wall and the worms begin to form proglottids. Gravid proglottids, containing the eggs, detach from the end of the worm and pass out in the feces.

Return to top of page

Site in host where adult parasite is found:

  • The small intestine.

Return to top of page

Diagnostic Stage:

  • Proglottid or eggs.
  • Eggs are 38 - 32 um.

Common Diagnostic Test
  • Gross examination of the proglottid
  • Fecal float may bring up eggs if a gravid proglottid has been broken in the feces.
  • The coenurus may be found upon necropsy in the brain of sheep and goats.


    Return to top of page

Clinical Signs:
  • Usually asymptomatic.
  • Extremely heavy worm burdens in small dogs may cause blockage of the intestine.
  • In infected sheep or goats, the coenurus in the brain may cause ataxia, blindness, a stumbling gait, and paralysis.




    Return to top of page


 EpsiprantelPraziquantel, Fenbendazole


Return to top of page

University of Pennsylvania  2004

Comments or Questions please contact:  Dr. Nolan at: