Giardia in dogs: 13 questions and answers about the dog disease

 Giardia in dogs: 13 questions and answers about the dog disease

Tracy Wilkins

Canine giardiasis is a disease that leaves many dog owners worried. In addition to causing unpleasant symptoms, giardia in dogs can even lead to death if not treated in time. What are the symptoms of giardia in dogs, what it causes in the pet's body and how to prevent it are some of the doubts that many pet parents have about the disease.

To help better understand giardiasis in dogs, the Paws of the House has separated 10 questions and answers that answer all the questions that may arise about this disease.

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1) What is giardia in dogs?

Canine giardiasis is a parasitic infection that attacks the dog's intestine. Caused by a protozoan called Giardia lamblia, the disease is considered a zoonosis, meaning it can be transmitted to humans. In addition, this parasite can also lodge in the body of other species of mammals, birds and amphibians. However, cases of giardiasis in dogs are the most common.

2) How does the dog contract canine giardiasis?

The contagion of giardiasis in dogs happens from contact or ingestion of the oocysts of the protozoan. They are usually present in contaminated water, food and faeces. As dogs have the habit of putting everything they see in front of them in their mouths, any contaminated object that is bitten can cause the disease.

3) How does giardia in dogs develop in the pet's body?

The protozoan parasite that causes canine giardiasis lodges in organs of the dog's digestive system, mainly in the small intestine. The parasite's cysts develop inside and multiply, causing inflammation. These giardiasis cysts in dogs are eliminated with the animal's faeces, so if another dog comes into contact with these contaminated faeces, it will also contract the disease.

4) What are the symptoms of giardia in dogs ?

As giardiasis in dogs is a disease of the intestinal tract, the symptoms are usually related to problems in this area. The main one is diarrhea in dogs. It can be continuous or intermittent (it stops for a while and then comes back). It is usually possible to find blood in the dog's stool and, in some cases, there may be mucus and small cysts, as well as a very strong odor.

In giardia in dogs, common symptoms besides diarrhea are vomiting, abdominal pain, gas, loss of weight and appetite, apathy, anorexia, hair loss, fatigue and dehydration in more severe cases, due to excessive diarrhea and vomiting.

5) How does canine giardia come out in feces?

Dog stools with giardia usually have the presence of cysts in the dog's stool. However, there are other diseases that also cause this problem. Other protozoan infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, neoplasms and even food intolerance can also be reasons for cysts in the stool. Therefore, pay attention to all signs and take the pet to a veterinarian tomaking the accurate diagnosis is so important.

In addition, it is worth remembering that the amount of cysts has no relation to the severity of the disease. The frequency with which they come out can vary each day. This means that a dog with many cysts in the stool does not necessarily have a more serious condition than another with few - even because the amount varies from day to day in the same animal.

6) How is giardia diagnosed in dogs?

The stool test may often not be so accurate, as it is common that the sample taken does not contain the traces of giardia. Dogs then need further tests, so the diagnosis of giardiasis in dogs is usually made by analyzing three different stool samples. In addition, other tests such as parasitic and serological tests may be requested to confirm the diagnosis.Suspicion: Analysis of the animal's history is also essential to define the diagnosis of canine giardia. accurately.

7) Is canine giardiasis more severe in puppies?

Canine giardiasis is a disease that, if not treated quickly and correctly, can lead to the death of the animal. The care must be even greater in the case of puppies. The disease is usually more severe in dogs between three and six months of age. When contracting giardiasis in dogs, puppies take longer to recover, as their immune system is not yet fully developed.Thus, puppies are usually more susceptible to contracting the disease and may be more difficult to recover from if treatment is not started soon.

8) Is there a remedy for giardia in dogs?

Canine giardiasis can be cured, especially if treated early on. Treatment usually consists of giardia medicine for dogs, an antibiotic prescribed by the veterinarian. It usually needs to be taken for five to seven days. In the case of an advanced and more severe giardiasis in dogs, with dehydration, hospitalization may be necessary to perform electrolyte replacement withthe application of serum.

9) How is canine giardiasis prevented?

It is not difficult to prevent giardiasis in dogs, it is enough to adopt some hygiene measures. It is important to prevent the dog from visiting places that may be contaminated and other pets with suspected canine giardiasis. Never let the dog get close to the feces of other animals, as they may be contaminated. In addition, it is important to always keep the environment where you live clean. A solution ofBenzalkonium chloride is great for disinfecting a site.

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10) Is there a vaccine against giardia in dogs?

Yes, the vaccine against giardiasis in dogs is, as well as hygiene, one of the main ways to prevent the disease. It acts on the pet's body by creating a strong immune response to the disease. Therefore, even if after applying the vaccine your pet contracts canine giardiasis, the chances of a serious case are minimal.

In addition, it helps to prevent the disease from being easily spread in the environment. In other words, the vaccine against giardia in dogs protects not only your pet, but prevents others from being contaminated as well. Vaccination can be performed in puppies from eight weeks of age, with a second dose after 21 to 28 days. Annual booster is also necessary to keep your pet always protected.

11) How many days does giardia last in puppies?

The duration of giardiasis in dogs depends on the treatment and whether there has been any re-infection during this period. In general, it is a disease that can last from 4 to 12 days, and it is necessary to carry out periodic examinations for effective control of the treatment in the days following the end.

12) What happens if I don't treat canine giardia?

When we talk about giardia in dogs, the main symptoms involve diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and weight loss. If the disease is not properly treated, in addition to being fatal, it can cause a series of damages to the animal's health such as: malabsorption of nutrients, delay in the animal's development and problems with cognitive ability.

13) Which anthelmintic for giardia in dogs?

Giardiasis in dogs should be treated exclusively by a trusted veterinarian. Self-medication, even with the best of intentions, can end up worsening the patient's condition. Therefore, the ideal is to follow the recommendations given by a professional, including which is the best dewormer for dogs.

Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.