Many articles mention Pumpkin Seeds effectiveness for killing tapeworms. Raw Pumpkin Seeds (Cucurbita maxima) are relatively inexpensive and as far as I have seen in the articles online, has few and minor side effects.
There are also no cautions against being used in pregnant bitches.
According to one study, the active ingredient cucurbitin, provides a potent reaction when used against tapeworms and shows some activity against pinworms.
Another study demonstrated that 32 grams (approximately 1 oz) in 100 ml of water ( approximately 3 oz) killed both tapeworms and their eggs after one dose in approximately 38.4 minutes.
(Don’t cha just love the “approximate” of 38.4 minutes? And I thought I was OCD!).
The only side effect noted was non-erosive gastritis in rats at that dose.
Other doses for canines I’ve found are: 60 grams, (2 oz) to up to 500 grams (18 oz) of seeds per dose, depending on the size of the pup, and are usually administered three times a day until the pet is rid of its parasites.
For humans I have seen doses of 2 tablespoons to ¼ - ½ cup of seeds a day all the way up to 25 oz daily recommended. Considering most people are bigger than Shelties, I would use that as the maximum dose needed.
It seems mixing it with hot water seems to be another common recommendation.
While the scientific studies didn’t mention the need for a laxative to move the tapeworms out of the intestines, (since they are supposedly dead), it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to use a natural laxative afterwards as some herbal websites suggest.
The rationale for the laxative is the belief that the way pumpkin seeds for tapeworms work is to just temporarily paralyze them, not actually kill them dead. Why take chances when a simple addition of canned pumpkin will probably do the trick?
One web article stated to use no more than 2 teaspoons of canned pumpkin for laxative for dogs. Or an alternative would be ½ - 1 ½ teaspoons of oils like olive oil, safflower oil or Castor oil.
While humans can probably just munch on the seeds, dogs don’t have the teeth to crush and mash the seeds up sufficiently, so putting them in a blender or coffee grinder or food processor seems the best way to go about it. This is how I prepare pumpkin seeds with other supplements for my pups.
For how long should you use it? Don’t know yet. Have to find a dog with tapeworm to try it on first, run a few fecal floatation slides to verify what they have and then retest after a few days.
Since it is a pretty harmless food for dogs, I imagine you could use it daily without harm. I just want to know what the minimum requirement would be to do the job. Until I do have something definitive, I'm adding pumpkin seeds for tapeworms to the regular diet a few times a week
You can feel good knowing you are giving your dog unsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, amino acids and vitamins C, D, E, K and Vitamin B, calcium, phosphorous and potassium.
Once I run some tests, I’ll put my results on this page.
ADDENDUM: It pays to keep your kitchen cabinets securely closed. One of the dogs was able to pry a door open and found the 5lb bag of them. Needless to say, they apparently all had quite a feast, looking pretty darn proud of themselves, leaving only the empty bag behind.
And no side effects. Good to know. Thanks, guys.
If you would like to try this for your own dogs, you can get pumpkin seeds at your local natural food store, or if that isn't convenient you can order Organic Raw Pumpkin Seedsonline.