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What is Giardia? And How May It Affect Dogs?

alexander animal hospital giardia dogs

One disease that can trigger deadly infections in young or senior dogs is Giardia.

Humans and animals usually contend with countless diseases and conditions introduced by various microscopic organisms. One disease that can trigger deadly infections in young or senior dogs is Giardia. These microscopic one-celled organisms provoke intestinal infections in humans and dogs. It’s well known for causing beaver fever or traveler’s diarrhea in people who spend time in the wild. The condition primarily affects puppies or senior dogs due to their weaker immune systems.

How Is Giardia Transmitted?

Dogs typically receive Giardia when they ingest objects, feces, water, soil, or food contaminated with the parasite. The parasite has two main forms: cysts that are shed in the dog’s feces and those that live in the dog’s intestines, known as trophozoites. In addition, the cysts are trophozoites with a hard exterior shell that protects them.

Furthermore, cysts are infectious and can survive in the environment for several months. If a dog ingests these cysts, he or she can quickly become reinfected when grooming itself.

Symptoms or Signs of Giardia in Dogs

Dogs with solid immunity will generally not display any symptoms of Giardia. In contrast, dogs with weaker immunity will likely experience low energy levels, decreased appetite, or weight loss. When the condition worsens, the dog typically presents symptoms such as sudden or acute diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, watery or soft stool with a foul odor, and mucus deposits.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Dogs

A veterinarian usually requires two stool samples to diagnose giardiasis because the dogs will shed the cysts intermittently. Also, they may seek for Giardia-specific antigens if the cysts are not visible in the stool sample. Additionally, dogs showing no symptoms of Giardia will not need any treatment, but those affected will require managing other symptoms. The most prevalent treatment includes medication, diet, bathing, and cleaning.

For more information on this condition, visit Alexander Animal Hospital at our Severna Park, Maryland office. Or call us at 410-777-8678 to set an appointment.

Support Your Pet’s Wellness at Alexander Animal Hospital

Alexander Animal Hospital is a full-service animal hospital located in Severna Park, Maryland, serving the Severna Park, Pasadena, and Arnold Areas. Our goal is educating clients on the needs of their pets and understanding the importance of individualized veterinary care in order to strengthen the human-animal bond between owners and their pets.

We understand you have a choice when deciding on the care for your pets, and we strive to provide you with unparalleled services including wellness exams, vaccineslost pet microchip ID, dental care, surgical services, digital radiography, and in-hospital laboratory services and diagnostics. Other highlights of Alexander Animal Hospital are the separate cat and dog waiting and exam rooms, as well as after-hours on-call emergency services.

Please take a look around our website and then give us a call at 410-777-8678 to set up an appointment. We’re social! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for all the latest updates!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023 at 2:40 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.