Giardia in dogs is an intestinal infection caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia, which can affect several species of mammals, including dogs and humans. The zoonosis is caused when cysts of this protozoan are ingested by the animal. Your pet can get giardiasis by drinking water or eating something that has been contaminated by feces, such as grass, food and objects. How do dogs usuallybite and put many things in their mouths throughout the day, there are many ways to pick up the parasite from the environment, whether it is chewing on a toy, licking fecal matter or drinking water from a puddle.
Once your dog has ingested the giardia cysts, the mature parasites, known as trophozoites, infect the small intestine. They grow, multiply and are eliminated together with the faeces. This can spread from animal to animal, as an unsuspecting host can ingest a contaminated item and restart the trophozoite life cycle. It is therefore important to keep an eye out for the parasite.keep an eye on prevention methods and always keep the house clean.
Giardia in dogs: symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting
Giardiasis in dogs is the term for the disease caused by the infection and, as in humans, the most common symptom is diarrhoea, which can be intermittent or continuous. Failure to diagnose and treat the disease can lead to severe weight loss and even death in extreme cases. The disease is particularly dangerous for puppies, elderly dogs and animals with compromised immune systems.
With giardia, dogs may show other clinical manifestations besides diarrhea, such as vomiting, abdominal pain, lack of appetite, weakness, depression and dehydration. Pasty stools with a strong odor, accompanied by blood or not, are also other signs to be alert for.
5 tips to prevent giardia in dogs
With canine giardiasis, the expression "better safe than sorry" applies perfectly well. While it's not always possible to control every step and aspect of a dog's environment, there are some precautions owners can take to prevent giardiasis from affecting their pet. Here are 5 tips to prevent giardiasis in dogs.
1. giardia: dog should always have clean water available
Make sure your pet has clean, fresh water at all times. Even though there is quality control by the water supply companies, tap water is not suitable for pets to drink. Therefore, invest in a filter that has been proven to kill giardia cysts or offer mineral water. You can also boil the water. When taking your dog for walks in parks and parks.beaches, always carry a small bottle with filtered water to offer to the animal. This will prevent him from drinking water from infected puddles, as well as being essential for the dog's general health .
2. collect the dog's feces as soon as possible
To prevent the spread of giardia, as well as other parasites, immediately pick up the faeces left by your dog and throw them in the garbage can. If the animal already has the protozoan, it may release the cyst through the faeces and ingest it, contracting the infection again. Avoid contact with faecal cake by wearing gloves, a shovel or plastic bag over your hand. Then clean the site with suitable products.
3. redouble your attention when walking your dog
While walking your dog, keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't eat anything that's on the ground. It's also important to prevent him from drinking water from areas where other animals may have left their faeces. On the street, spaces where many animals circulate can gather large amounts of faeces. The dog park, for example, can be a breeding ground for giardia.
4. wash your hands and take off your shoes when you get home
Only those who have a dog know that the pet makes a tremendous party when he sees his guardian coming home. However, before responding to his affection, wash your hands thoroughly, which may have touched something contaminated on the street. The same can happen with shoes. When you arrive, take off your shoes at the door and change into slippers.
5. canine giardia vaccine: the best protection for your pet
In order for your four-legged furry one to always be protected, vaccination for dogs is a strong ally in the prevention of giardia and in the reduction of the elimination of cysts in the feces. With this, there is a reduction in contamination of the environment, minimizing the chance of infection in dogs, other domestic animals and humans. The vaccine for giardia should be applied from eight weeks of age, with a21 to 28 days interval between the first two doses. Immunization needs annual booster.
Now that you know what is giardia in dogs and the main methods of prevention, be sure to protect your pet from the disease. Talk to a trusted veterinarian so he can provide more information about the vaccine and indicate routine examinations for general monitoring of the animal.