April Showers Bring June Diarrhea: Giardia In Dogs
Austin has recently been struck with lots of rain, and while the showers are great for our lawns and gardens, the rain can leave lots of puddles and standing water which can be dangerous for thirsty dogs. Street water can mix with dog feces, so when your dog bends down to get a big gulp of water, he or she may be unknowingly ingesting something more sinister – Giardia. If your dog suddenly has a bad case of diarrhea after a rainy day out at the park, they may have contracted Giardia.
What is Giardia?
Giardia is an intestinal parasite caused by the protozoan parasite Giardia, while it has a scary name, Giardia is one of the more common intestinal parasites.
How do dogs get Giardia?
Dogs become infected with Giardia when they come in contact with infected feces, directly or indirectly. This means your pup can get it from eating the feces of another dog, playing or living in the same area as an infected dog, or drinking water from an outdoor puddle that happens to have come in contact with infected feces. The parasite loves cool standing water meaning spring showers is a crucial time to watch out for potential contact with Giardia.
While dogs of all ages can get Giardia, it’s more common in younger puppies. Up to 50% of young pups will develop Giardia and most dogs who are frequently boarded or kenneled with multiple dogs will get it.
How can I prevent Giardia?
There are several ways to avoid coming in contact with Giardia. When your dog is outside or playing with multiple dogs, watch what they’re eating. If you take your pup out after a rainy day, make sure they have access to clean drinking water at all times. Carefully handle all feces and properly discard it. Wash your hands immediately after handling dog feces.
What are the symptoms of Giardia?
The most common symptoms of Giardia are diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. While Giardia can be temporary, if the symptoms are ongoing they can cause dehydration, deteriorating health and potentially death.
What is the treatment for Giardia?
If you think your dog has Giardia or you notice dog vomit or diarrhea, contact ZippiVet immediately. We’ll be able to conduct a feces test and provide your pet with an antibiotic.
If you think your dog has giardia it is important to bring them into ZippiVet immediately to ensure they receive proper treatment and don’t infect other pets. Contact ZippiVet to discuss proper preventative care and to schedule a checkup.