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Blog Giardia in Dogs

Giardia in dogs is caused by the parasite Giardia is an internal infection of the intestines caused when a dog ingests infected offspring. A very common infection, Giardia is treatable. Once the parasite is ingested it makes its way to the intestine-causing diarrhea.

Giardia Symptoms

When it comes to Giardia the younger the dog the more likely the symptoms will show. The most common symptom is diarrhea. Diarrhea that is soft and greasy with a potent odor. Vomiting can also occur but is not as common as diarrhea.

The symptoms can be very irregular making it hard to diagnose at times. The symptoms can also be very chronic making diagnosis easier.

Causes of Giardia
The most common cause of Giardia is the ingesting of infected fecal matter or contaminated water. Drinking rainwater can cause Giardia as well. Any water that is not the water your dog should be drinking can cause it.

In other words a dog receives Giardia when it drinks water contaminated with cystic forms of the Giardia parasite.

Diagnosis
Just like any other diagnosing process the vet will want to rule out other possibilities first. Some of the possibilities to rule out is maldigestion, unabsorbed nutrients, or inflammatory bowel disease. Once these potentials are eliminated then a treatment option will be put into place for Giardia. Checking the dogs fecal is the best way to diagnose Giardia. Even testing the fecal can give back a false positive since Giardia can come and go with the symptoms.

Treating Giardia
Giardia is easy to treat and can be done on an outpatient basis. Prescribed drugs and bathing are used to help with removing the parasite from the dog’s body. Prescriptions and bathing combined also helps encourage the infection to not come back. A repetition of fecal exams is often suggested to assure that the infection has been fully removed.

Prevention
Water contamination is the main cause. To prevent Giardia monitor your dog when letting them out in the yard. The easiest way to prevent it is to have your dog drink bottled or tap water from the public utilities. If you are unclear about the water and have the intentions to give it to your dog it’s recommended that you treat or boil it before serving.

 

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