You may have heard of it, you may not but one thing’s for sure: giardia, also known as giardisis, like many diseases, occurs in stages. The parasitic life form has potential to cause serious illnesses. While some dogs may become carriers without showing any symptoms, other dogs get sick and need treatment as a result of giardia.
The inactive form of giardia is found in contaminated water and feces. Once it has been ingested by a dog, the cysts become mobile and propel a trophozoite throughout its intestine. If your dog is healthy, the trophozoites could live in its lower digestive tract for years. If your dog unfortunately has a weakened immune system, the trophozoites multiply and conquer.
The onset of the disease may be difficult to determine. Blood tests from the vet may appear normal except for an increased number of white blood cells. As far as the pet owner is concerned, diarrhea is a common tell-tale sign of overall intestinal infection. Since the number of cysts vary from day to day, your vet will need to do sample tests ranging from one to three days.
Once your vet has diagnosed the giardia in your dog, treatment is highly encouraged. The most common is antiprotozoal drugs.
One of the main drawbacks to giardia? In addition to affecting Fido, it can also afflict people. Sanitation is key! Whether it’s caring for your own dog or checking out the kennel for your dog, be sure to watch your hands thoroughly after cleaning dog runs, removing feces from yards. Babies and toddlers should always be kept away from dogs that have diarrhea. When traveling, keep in mind your dog should not drink from potentially infected water in streams, ponds, or swamps. Since cysts in the environment can remain viable for several weeks or months in cold, wet environments, areas littered with feces should be avoided at all costs.
Overall, your dog may be susceptible to diseases including giardia, therefore strengthening the case for impeccable sanitation and regular visits to your vet. At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being & our storefront is open for your to shop anytime - click here. For more information about giardia please please contact your vet.