Have you ever had traveler’s diarrhea? Not much fun, is it? Unfortunately, dogs and humans alike can become infected by a parasite called Giardia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your dog or cat might get infected in four ways:
- being in contact with infected feces (poop) from another dog or cat
- rolling and playing in contaminated soil
- licking its body after contact with a contaminated surface (for example, a dirty litter box or dog cage or crate)
- drinking water from a contaminated creek, pond, or another body of water
Fortunately for your pet, animals are very resistant to Giardia and even when infected, symptoms may not always present themselves.
If your dog does become infected, symptoms will not appear until 7-10 days after ingestion. Puppies, senior dogs and dogs with a weak immune system are more likely to have symptoms of Giardia infestation. Additionally, if a dog has worms or other parasites, he will also be more likely to show symptoms of Giardia infestation.
Symptoms of Giardia infestation:
• Abnormal stool
Diagnosing Giardia in dogs is not always easy as the cysts are quite small and are not always present in the dog’s stool. If it hasn’t been passed through the stool in the sample being tested then proper diagnosis may be delayed. Once a proper diagnosis has been made, a dog may be treated using conventional medicines such as Metronidazole, Fenbendazole, Albendazole, and Quanacrine. These medicines vary in their level of effectiveness as well as the number of side effects could occur.
In addition to conventional methods of treatment, some pet parents opt for a natural approach. You must seek the counsel of your vet before attempting to utilize any of these treatments as the sole course of treatment. Oil of Oregano is known for being a strong antiseptic and is great for adding a level of protection if your dog will be going anywhere that places him at risk of being exposed to Giardia. Some herbs and other natural supplements such as digestive enzymes, L-Glutamine and probiotics are often used to treat Giardia in dogs. However, Grapefruit Seed Extract is known to be the most effective natural treatment out there.
With the warmer weather comes the opportunity to play outside with your dogs. Your dog can become infected with Giardia through contaminated water or soil or by simply being around other dogs. Be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with Giardia and pay close attention to any changes that occur in your dog’s health or behavior.
When you sign up with Tailored Pet Services, we only allow your dog to drink from his/her water bowl (never puddles, ponds or creeks), cross the street when an unfamiliar dog approaches and supervise playtime in his/her backyard to ensure your dog isn’t exposed to Giardia. See our website for more information. We offer numerous monthly packages depending on your needs so contact us for more information.