What are Worms That Look Like Rice? (in Dogs, Cats, and Humans!)

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Often known as and visually looking like “rice-like worms,” tapeworms are thin and flat insects that stick to the intestinal passage of your dog or cat after they somehow ingest these microscopic worms.

A tapeworm’s anatomy is broken up within each reproductive organ.

Tapeworm infestations are often detected by locating objects that seem like minute whitish worms that resemble rice grains or seeds.

On your dog’s back end, in their feces, or in the area wherever your dog stays and rests.

Various types of tapeworms may infect your canine or cat, each with a distinct parasite that the animal consumes to become affected.

Dipylidium caninum is a parasite that feeds on fleas. In contrast, Taenia and Echinococcus subspecies feed on small creatures like mice, squirrels, bunnies, or big animals (such as goats or livestock).

How do Dogs Get Affected by Rice-Like Worms?

Tapeworms may reach lengths of 2.5 – 9 inches. 

The mature worm is unlikely to be seen. However, most of its segmentation starts to rip apart as it expands and passes through your dog’s excrement. 

These microscopic bits may be located squirming along your dog’s bottom or even on their mattress. It’s also possible to watch them crawling around in their feces.

These parts deteriorate and break off. Then they’re firm, yellow particles that can become stuck in your dog’s hair at the bottom.

Many dogs will slide or scrape their butts over the ground and scratch their butts excessively because they most likely feel itchy.

If the tapeworm pieces make their way into your dog’s gut, they might cause him to vomit. 

The chances are that you will find a worm (about 3–7 inches in length) in your dog’s puke.

If your pet has a severe tapeworm disease, they may lose weight despite eating correctly.

Treatment and Remedy

You can treat tapeworms in dogs with a variety of safe pharmaceutical medications. These deworming medications can be administered as a pill or as an injection. 

The medication kills the parasites, so you won’t notice them pass through your dog’s feces. Your veterinarian will select the best alternative for your dog.

Precautions and Preventative Measures

Honestly, preventive measures are straightforward to follow. Just follow these four steps, and you will have a healthy chance of fighting these worms away.

  • Fleas are a primary factor; keep them under check on your dog as well as in your residence and backyard.
  • Consult your veterinarian regarding flea sprays, powders, leashes, oral medicine, and external remedies such as creams.
  • Consult with your veterinarian to maintain your canine on a deworming schedule.
  • Allowing your dog to roam unaccompanied is not a good idea, specifically in regions where other pets or animals have roamed.
  • Tidy up after your dog, particularly in your backyard and in public places.

People can obtain tapeworms through their pets, but it is very uncommon. You have to consume an infected flea to get worms that way, which is improbable to happen in real life. 

However, this phenomenon is widespread among children since they tend to consume everything they see in their sight. 

Always clean your hands after interacting with pets or socializing outside for your safety.

How do Cats Get Affected By These Worms?

Cat tapeworms are unappealing, but experts see them as tiny parasites. 

As per the Drake Institute for Animal Research, this is because these worms are unlikely to produce long-term damage to your cat.

However, suppose your cat is badly afflicted with tapeworms. In that case, your cat may lose weight due to the worms eating the nourishment in her diet.

Those rice-sized, embryo-stuffed tapeworm pieces are likely to be found in your cat’s excrement or lurking around her rectum. 

Puking up bits of tiny worm pieces is a good sign that your cat has been infected with these rice-like worms. 

Other indicators that your cat is afflicted with tapeworms include inexplicable weight loss and them fidgeting with their bottoms.

Treatment and Remedy

Fortunately, treating cat tapeworms is efficient and straightforward. If your cat is afflicted, your veterinarian will prescribe a tapeworm medication known as a dewormer.

Dewormers are common oral treatments offered for both cats and dogs. However, they can also be administered through injection.

The tapeworm dissolves in the bowels as a result of the deworming drug. Because the worms have been digested, there should be no trace in the litter box.

The deworming drug must not produce any adverse health effects in your cats, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Precaution and Preventative Measures

The ideal situation is to protect your cat from being ill in the first instance. 

By utilizing flea control medications regularly and having your cat indoors, you may dramatically lower your cat’s chance of having tapeworms.

Parasitic worms are not infectious in the same way that a cold is. However, they are transmitted from species to species and, in rare circumstances, to people via fleas.

Do These Worms Affect Humans?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 

Even though most illnesses in individuals are asymptomatic, the CDC notes that it forms damaging and slow expanding tumors in sporadic cases.

The tumors predominantly occur in the brain, kidneys, and other organs, which frequently develop undiagnosed and ignored for years.

Echinococcus multilocularis is another form of tapeworm that can cause Alveolar echinococcosis. 

Human instances are uncommon but deadly, developing parasite tumors in the stomach, lung, central nervous system, and other organs.

According to the CDC, Alveolar echinococcosis can be fatal if not addressed. But luckily, this is very uncommon.

Most Worm infections are easy to get rid of and can be cured using prescribed anthelmintics.


Thinking about worms within an animal may cause even the most steel-hearted pet parent to squirm. 

Fortunately, despite their unattractive appearance, tapeworms are pretty straightforward to remove and are unlikely to pose long-term harm to your cat.

The wisest choice you can make for your pet is to keep a careful check on them at all times. 

When she exhibits abrupt behavioral changes, it might be her way of communicating that she isn’t in the best of health. 

This is also why it is essential to have a yearly vet visit.

Excellent cleanliness and adequate sanitization are sufficient for humans to keep these rice-looking worms at bay.