Giardia in dogs, symptoms and treatment

dog vet giardiaWhat is Giardia
Giardia is a single-celled gastrointestinal parasite that can cause diarrhea and vomiting. It is the most common gastrointestinal parasite in dogs. Weak dogs or puppies are especially susceptible to it. If your dog has diarrhea, there is a 10 to 20 percent chance that it concerns Giardia.

Contagious
Giardia is very contagious and can be passed from dog to human. Cats and other animals can also be infected. The infection passes through the mouth. This can be done through defecation, drinking or swimming in contaminated water, eating or drinking from an infected food bowl, licking grass or licking the coat of an infected dog.

Symptoms
The parasite causes intestinal problems. Often a dog has diarrhea and sometimes the stool is slimy or sometimes some blood comes with it. Other symptoms may include vomiting, lethargy or poor eating. It is also possible that your dog is infected, but no symptoms are visible. The symptoms may be visible one to two weeks after an infection.

Treatment
Always consult your vet if you suspect giardia. A giardia test can determine whether your dog has the parasite. Your dog’s feces will then be examined. Your dog will receive medication as a treatment. Clean the dog’s environment thoroughly. Wash baskets and cloths at a high temperature, put food and water bowls in the dishwasher. And don’t forget to clean toys and your dogs place in the car. Clean places where feces have ended up.

Dog class
Giardia is very contagious. If your dog is infected or if you have a suspicion, do not go to your dog training class. You risk infecting the other dogs.

Tom Rosens