What you need to know about Giardia

Giardia is a parasite that affects many animals, as well as dogs and humans. It can be transmitted from animals to humans. In dogs and humans, a common symptom of the infection is diarrhoea. Luckily, dog-to-human transmission is rare.

What Is Giardia?

Giardia has long whip-like appendages referred to as flagella, that enables it to swim throughout the intestines of the host. Usually, the trophozoites attach to cells within the intestine.

How Dogs Get Giardia?

Giardia is shed within the stool of infected animals. The parasite can survive within atmosphere for months depending on the conditions.

Dogs and puppies contract Giardia by drinking contaminated water. Humans similarly.

Signs of Giardia in Dogs

Many dogs with flagellated protozoan don’t have any symptoms, however, the most common sign is diarrhoea, general unease, lethargy, and loss of appetite. A less common sign of the infection is reflux. If left untreated, the infection will cause weight loss, hunger, dehydration and can be fatal.

If you notice these signs in your dog, contact your vet. Routine screening is advisable. We can examine a sample in-house for quick results. A combination of tests of faecal samples collected on different days is required before the infection is diagnosed. Antiprotozoal is commonly used to treat the infection in dogs.

Giardia management

Regardless of the medical treatment used, you need to do your best to eliminate the disease from your dog’s environment. This will prevent other animals (including humans) from getting the infection or getting reinfected.

Keeping a clean environment minimizes the chance of reinfection. Affected dogs need to be washed daily to get rid of body waste until the treatment is completed. Bedding surfaces need to be washed regularly. Make sure to follow the instructions from your vet.

If you are concerned that your animal might have the disease or they have been in contact with a contaminated area get in touch with us. Contact