Giardia in Dogs and Puppies


What is Giardia
Giardia is a down right nasty microscopic parasite. It attaches to the intestines of the pet and then multiplies. Giardia does NOT actually "attack" the intestines but instead as it multiples it covers and blocks the intestines so that food can't absorb into your pets system. So even though your pet eats, the pet starves and as a results becomes severely dehydrated, malnourished and then major organs can start shutting down. Giarida WILL kill if left untreated.

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Symptoms of Giardia
Mild to severe diarrhea, weight loss, listlessness, fatigue, mucus or blood in the stool, anorexia (picking at food or not wanting to eat) or your puppy just doesn't act "right." Kind of dumpy, sluggish. You can tell something is wrong but your not sure what. These are all common things people have said when their pet had Giardia.

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Diagnosing Giardia
Giardia is very hard to diagnose. There is an actual "Giardia Snap or Giardia Test" that vets run on your puppies stool. It's different than just your basic "fecal test." However, the scary thing is that the results can come back saying your puppy is negative for Giardia when IN REALITY  they really do have it!!!!  I have seen countless times when people are in and out of the hospital trying to figure out what is wrong with their sick little puppy but all the tests and medicines aren't working and the puppy continues to get worse.  I (personally) often refer to Giardia as the "silent killer" for that reason. I just absolutely hate this terrible parasite. If your puppy tested "positive" for Giardia ~ that is wonderful. DON'T GET ME WRONG ~ it's NOT wonderful that your puppy has Giardia, but it's great that you were able to get it diagnosed so quickly so that you can start treatment right way.

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Causes of Giardia
Giardia is still known to be kind of a "mystery." Just like in people ~ they say that Giardia is mainly picked up around dirty waters, streams, ponds, swamps and public areas that have contaminated feces. However, we have seen many puppies (in rescue, in rehab centers, vet clinics, talking with families etc....) that have not been around those things still get Giardia.

 

Treatments for Giardia
Get to your vet immediately as there are several medications that have worked well to clear it up. Giardia is NOT something  you want to ignore or wait for it to pass.

 

Preventing Giardia
Keep the puppies area's bed, blankets, toys clean. Provide fresh water daily. One of the best ways you can help your puppy is by strengthening their immune system and putting them on a high quality probiotic. Contact us below for more information on which probiotics have the best reviews. We are happy to recommend...

Disclaimer: We are NOT licensed vets. DO NOT try to diagnose or treat animals based off this or any other information you find on the internet.  If you pet is having any kind of medical issues, please seek professional treatment from a licensed vet who is trained and set up to handle such matters.
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