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Dogs can get tape worms from infested poop (if another dog has tape worms), or from eating an infected flea. I think there are other ways too but those are the two main ways.
You will know if your dog has tapeworm because it will look like they have rice in their poo. Most of the time the rice will wiggle. These are segments of the tapeworm.

Here's a link about it.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_tapeworm.html

The pictures are cartoons but it explains the tapeworm process well.

Here are some real pictures.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...6lr%3D%26sa%3DN

Fantasia had tape worms when she was a puppy and that's why we stopped taking her outside to potty. Other dogs in our complex all go potty in OUR yard and their owners don't clean up after them, and the complex doesn't seem to care when I call all the time to complain. Anyway I found the tapeworm in her poop when she had an accadent in the house (it would have harder to notice outside because she poos in the grass and I pick it up with a plastic bag and don't examine it). I knew what it was right away because I had tapeworm when I was in like 2nd grade. Don't know how I got it and don't remember how I got rid of it (probably saw a Dr. for it). Anyway we got Fantasia wormed and I cleaned out her crate. Her crate was so grose I was glad that she wasn't sleeping in our bed at this time because her crate and blankets were covered in little dried up segments of the tape worm. It looked like a bunch of dried rice in her bed.
 
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