My Dog Has Giardia: Now What?
We went in for Walter’s wellness Saturday and of course dropped of a fecal sample. Then days later I find out he has giardia! The last time he go it – it was 2013. So we’re not strangers to the treatment course but Walter didn’t have symptoms this time around.
Where were we last week? How did he get it? As a CVT, I took a course in parasitology so I know that giradia can live in dirt and grass areas for months. It’s basically everywhere. Did Walter eat poop last week on a walk or at the creek I took him too (yikes)? Was he drinking water a lot? (Probably… it was hot).
What is Giardia?
Giardia is a protozoan parasite that can infect the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and is capable of causing diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lethargy — although many infected animals show no signs at all. … Most dogs become infected by drinking water contaminated with feces – as the damp environment is preferred by these nasty parasites.
Walter is taking a five day course of Panacur (dewormer) which is a powder that I put on deli turkey – separate from his food. He doesn’t seem to mind the taste but it’s a lot of powder so sometimes I break it up in two bowls. Panacur (fenbendazole) helps treat hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms in dogs. In the past when he has had symptoms he needed both metronidazole and Panacur together to cure the symptoms.
Like Walter, many pets with giardia have no symptoms.
Diarrhea is the most common symptom and it can be acute or chronic. You don’t want to leave it untreated as you can cause a big GI infection. So if your dog ever has diarrhea and it lasts for days you should see your Vet. Better to be safe than sorry.
In order to rule out certain parasites, your vet will send the fecal sample to a lab and then again after the treatment course to make sure the parasite is completely cleared from your dog’s body.
Walter is a-ok. But in the past he’s been fairly ill so you should always check with your vet when you’re seeing acute or chronic diarrhea. As you can see he enjoyed the flower farm immensely!