Giardia in a dog: symptoms and treatment
Giardia. A small critter with sometimes big consequences. Giardia is a common parasite. In fact, in dogs it is one of the most common gastrointestinal parasites. It occurs in approximately 10% of all dogs. Fortunately, in many cases it is easy to treat. We tell you more about the cause, symptoms and treatment. Please read on.
The cause of Giardia
An infection of Giardia occurs by eating the parasite. This can be done, for example, by eating contaminated stool or ingesting contaminated water. Re-infection also occurs quickly. For example, when a dog licks its paws after walking or when the fur of an infected animal is licked. In this way the parasite spreads very quickly.
Is Giardia dangerous for a dog?
In general, Giardia is not dangerous. Many dogs have the parasite in their intestines without any problems. In younger or weakened animals Giardia sometimes causes health problems. Usually in the form of diarrhea that is difficult to control. If dogs become infected, it takes an average of 1 to 2 weeks for symptoms to appear.
Recognize Giardia in your dog: the symptoms
Most dogs carry the Giardia parasite and have no symptoms. When your four-legged friend suffers from it, we often see the following symptoms. The degree of symptoms varies greatly from dog to dog.
- Persistent, chronic diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite and lethargy
- Blood and/or mucus in the stool
Diagnosis of Giardia in a dog
Do you recognize one or more symptoms in your dog? If so, always consult your veterinarian. The diagnosis of Giardia is made by detecting the parasite. This can be done with a microscope or with a SNAP test.
Hygiene in the house
Is your dog receiving a Giardia treatment? Then good hygiene in the house is extremely important. Keep the following things in mind.
- Treat all animals in the household
- Wash your hands after contact with your dog
- Clean food and water bowls with boiling water
- Wash all your dog’s pillows, cuddly toys and rugs before and after the treatment
- Don’t forget to clean the car
Food for dogs with Giardia
In case of severe symptoms of Giardia, such as persistent diarrhea, the vet may prescribe a special diet. We recommend giving easily digestible food to calm the intestines. SANIMED Intestinal offers support in case of deteriorated digestion, thin stools and hypersensitivity. 100% natural and proven effective.