If you have a dog and are wondering what is Giardia in dogs? Then before going into the complete details, let us first know the meaning of it. Giardiasis is a parasitic infection that can lead to Diarrhea in dogs. Giardia is the name of the parasite that leads to the disease. They are usually found in water, food, and feces-contaminated soil.
These intestinal worms in dogs target those who have weak immune systems. Some of the dogs don’t usually show any signs of infection. Dogs can easily be reinfected with Giardia. So, anti-parasitic medications and other factors such as cleaning and the environment, i.e., indoor and outdoor, are required to treat dogs. Now, let us dive deep into understanding the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and much more in detail.
What Are the Symptoms of Giardia in Dogs?
Giardia causes watery Diarrhea in dogs. Except for Diarrhea, the symptoms also include excessive foul-smelling gas, vomiting, decrease in appetite and energy, and frequent poops.
One of the important things worth noting is that these intestinal worms in dogs are asymptomatic. The test for Giardia is not run on a scheduled basis, and there is surety how often it is true in this case.
If you want your dog to be healthy, ensure the environment is hygienic. A fundamental variable ought not to be overlooked.
What Are the Causes of Giardia in Dogs?
The disease is found all over the world. Giardia cysts are the ones responsible for causing infection. They are outer shells that permit parasites to reside outside a host.
Dogs are infected with this disease when they eat food, consume water that carries cysts or is also infected from ingesting feces directly.
“Ingesting poop does not always mean consuming feces from the ground. It can also occur when your dog sniffs. It can be described as the most common greeting between dogs and then licking their nose.”
Another source that causes the infection is contaminated plants and soil. Dogs that hunt and kill contaminated prey can also become infected with the disease.
How to Get Rid of Giardia in Dogs?
To get rid of Giardia, medications are accessible and affordable. Specialists mainly prescribe Metronidazole which is an antibiotic. Another one that is also prescribed is Fenbendazole.
There are multiple rounds of treatment required to get cured of the disease. The reason behind that is it can be difficult to completely get rid of it from your home and avoid reinfection. Most of the time, the clearance of the infection is done after one round.
Additional medications may be prescribed, considering the severity of your dog’s condition and the infection. Dehydrated dogs may benefit from subcutaneous fluid therapy, injectable vitamins, and electrolytes.
If your dog is dehydrated on a moderate or critical basis, you need hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy. To name one, Safari Veterinary Care Centers is an excellent destination for getting your animal’s medical treatments with ease and convenience.
Regarding Giardia infections, there is no such thing as immunity for dogs that have been infected. So, if any dog suffers from the disease, there are chances of getting reinfected.
All your surroundings must be disinfected with Ammonia diluted bleach solution, or steam cleaning can also be used against the cysts. Carefully pick up all the dog feces and dispose of it.
These obstacles with environment disinfection and maintenance make this a formidable challenge to eliminate this parasite. Under conditions, indoor areas or contaminated soil can remain infectious for months. So, you must frequently clean and avoid those areas at all costs.
Other than dogs, if you have any other pets, inform your vet about it to know whether other medications should be administered to other animals only as a preventive measure.
Giardia is contagious in nature, so you need to have frequent rechecks at the vet. Before you rest and relax, ensure your dog has multiple negative tests. Suppose you have a baby or an immunocompromised person in the house. In that case, your vet may require a more negative Giardia test to eradicate the parasite.
What Are Some Tips for the Prevention of Giardia?
- Have frequent stool checks and Giardia testing before you bring another pet and introduce them to your dog.
- Utilize a monthly heartworm preventative that kills gastrointestinal parasites to ensure your dog is in good condition.
- Outdoor sandboxes should be covered when they are not used.
- Have frequent checkup regimens with you and opt for fecal parasite testing
- Prevent your dog from eating rodents and other animals.
How infectious is Giardia in dogs?
Giardia is very contagious. It is hard to eliminate it from your home or yard. Dogs don't develop immunity once infected, so there are also chances of being reinfected.
Should dogs with Giardia go to dog daycare?
Canines with known or suspected Giardiasis should not go to childcare. This endangers different dogs in danger because the infection is very contagious. Your dog is also at risk for reinfection because it quickly passes daycares and parks.
Is Giardia difficult to get rid of in dogs?
Most Giardia cases are relatively easy to clear with appropriate dosage and medication. In any case, you require environmental sterilization and retesting to guarantee the parasite is no more.
With strict adherence, the parasite is easier to eliminate, considering all aspects of the treatments. A standard recommendation is using an oral antibiotic like Metronidazole for the treatment.
Having proper treatments will definitely cure your dog from the disease. If the Diarrhea continues after the treatment, you need to contact your vet for a stool sample recheck. It will help you know whether the dog has been reinfected or not. You don’t require antigens retesting for your dog because it can remain present even after the infection is cured, which may result in false positives on the test.
All the details mentioned above highlight Giardia. So, you can follow the guide above if your dog suffers from the same disease. Go through the guide to ensure you read it carefully and thoroughly.