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Giardia

What You Need to Know

Giardia is spread through the feces of infected dogs, and once a dog is infected, the parasite lives in the dog’s small intestine. Many dogs become infected with Giardia after consuming contaminated water or anything that is polluted with Giardia cysts. These cysts form on the inside of the small intestine of the host and spread through their feces into the surrounding environment. Giardia can also spread to humans through contaminated dog waste.

Symptoms of Giardia Infection

Common symptoms of Giardia include:
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe bloating
  • Weight loss

Additionally, a dog’s waste may appear greasy or pale or have a foul odor. When infected, a dog may very suddenly show symptoms, yet in some cases, they will appear and reappear over a period of weeks, months, and even years.

Giardia Diagnosis

A Fecal Coliform Test is the best way to diagnose Giardia. Because the cysts may not be present in every stool sample, several collections may be necessary to accurately determine if Giardia is present or not. IDEXX Laboratories recently invented an accurate method for diagnosing Giardia infections, the Giardia SNAP test, which can detect cysts in less than 10 minutes.

Giardia Treatment & Prevention

There are a few drugs currently available to treat Giardia infections. Some of the available medications do have some side effects, including nausea, bone marrow injury, and even birth defects.

Four of the most common drugs are:
  • Quinacrine hydrochloride
  • Metronidazole
  • Fenbendazole
  • Albendazole

If you want to protect your dog from contracting Giardia, the best thing you can do is to avoid areas with pet feces present and untreated water that has the potential to contain feces. That includes local parks and pathways where dog owners frequent. If your community doesn’t stay on top of pet waste removal, it’s important to pay close attention to what your dog finds. Giardia cysts can live for a long time and are resistant to cold and hot temperatures.

If you are a pet owner, DoodyCalls offers pet waste removal services that will keep your property free and clear of dog poop and all the bacteria it can spread. For property management owners or HOAs, we offer several different community services, including pet waste station installation. Our team would be happy to discuss all of our services and create a custom solution for you and your needs.

DoodyCalls simply wants to provide you with as much information as we can, yet we are not experts on Giardia. If you have questions or concerns, contact your veterinarian.

Request a free dog waste removal quote today at (888) 659-6558!

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