Dipylidiasis Clinical Presentation

Updated: Apr 17, 2018
  • Author: Venkat R Minnaganti, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Dipylidiasis is transmitted by accidental ingestion of a dog or cat flea that contains D caninum cysticercoids. The adult tapeworm develops in about 20 days; however, since most infections are asymptomatic, the time to development of symptoms in some patients is unknown. Symptoms of dipylidiasis are related to the worm burden.

Most infections are asymptomatic, although some children with dipylidiasis may have intestinal disturbances.

Abdominal pain with or without diarrhea may be a presenting symptom.

Loss of appetite may be another presenting symptom.

Allergic manifestations (eg, pruritus, rash) may occur.

Increased irritability may be a presenting symptom.

Intestinal obstruction is a rare complication of dipylidiasis.



Physical examination findings in patients with dipylidiasis may be unremarkable.

Proglottids of D caninum adherent to perianal hair may be observed as a whitish yellow object.



Dipylidiasis is caused by infection with D caninum. Children who are regularly in contact with dogs are at an increased risk of infection.