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Post by Eleanor on Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:51 pm

Giardia is zoonotic protozoan intestinal parasite which attaches to the intestinal wall and causes Giardiasis (also known as parasitic diarrhoea), resulting in symptoms such as: foul-smelling diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, appetite loss, blood in the urine or faeces and lethargy.

Types of Giardiasis:

  • Acute – sudden and severe, presenting symptoms quickly

  • Chronic – on-going or repeated bouts of symptoms which last for a long time

  • Transient – temporary, lasting for a short time

  • Intermittent – non-continuous symptoms

Contaminated water is the most common route of transmission and can be passed from one host to another via the faecal-oral route. This parasite can affect a wide variety of species, including humans. This infection is usually fought off by the immune system, although veterinary care may be necessary to prevent dehydration and malnourishment. Young dogs are more vulnerable to Giardiasis.

Symptoms of Giardiasis:

  • Diarrhoea - often foul-smelling, foamy, greasy, with a foul odour and mucous (may also be green or bloody)

  • Dehydration due to diarrhoea

  • Lethargy

  • Nausea/vomiting

This parasitical illness may not present symptoms in adult dogs, but may be dangerous in puppies or immunocompromised dogs. Veterinary advice should be sought if you suspect that your dog has symptoms of Giardiasis.

Giardiasis can be detected by a vet examining faecal smears, but these may be inconclusive – another detection method is for a vet to use a zinc sulphate flotation solution. Treatment may involve symptom control for diarrhoea, as well as rehydration solutions or drips, and antibiotics or antiparasitics to kill the parasites. For information regarding preventative treatment, consult your vet.

Please note: Giardiasis is zoonotic, also affecting other pets and humans, so it is imperative that you disinfect your dog’s living areas, as well as any areas in your house or garden where your dog may have defecated or vomited.

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Last edited by ECdogs on Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:16 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Giardiasis

Post by Caryll on Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:30 pm

Having been through this awful illness with Dempsey, I'd advise anyone whose dog presents the symptoms to contact their vet asap. sad 

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