Giardia in Dogs – Causes Symptoms and Treatment of Giardiasis

Does your dog have a severe diarrhea? One of the possible differential diagnoses is Giardiasis.

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This disease, caused by a parasite, makes the dog very uncomfortable with nausea and abdominal pain. In addition, this disease is a zoonosis, that is, it can be transmitted to humans. This parasite is very resistant and the treatment of this disease is not always easy.

Unfortunately, this disease is quite common in dogs and so the YourCatCareguide wrote this article on giardia in dogs – causes, symptoms and treatment .

Giárdia in dogs

Giardia is a protozoan, and the two most common species are Giardia lamblia and Giardia duodenalis . These microorganisms settle in the dog’s intestine or any other infected animal.

When it is in the intestine, this microorganism is in a mobile form, called a trophozoite or as a cyst (immotile). These seconds, the cysts, are the most worrisome, because in the external environment (in the feces, for example) they are more resistant and can survive for weeks, hence the high potential of contagion.

Causes of giardia in dogs

Giardia may be on land, water, food, or anything else that may have come into contact with contaminated feces. Your dog can be infected through direct contact with something infected, and it may even be a human being to transmit to you.

The main cause of infection is in the dog, cat, human, or any other animal, is the intake of contaminated water. Another possibility is through direct ingestion of feces. Whenever you pick up your dog’s poop on the street, or change your cat’s litter box, it is very important that you thoroughly clean and disinfect your hands.

Do not let your dog lick the feces of other dogs on the street, the likelihood of infection is very high.

Giardia cycle

Briefly, the dog ingests a cyst ciliary, then this cyst becomes a trophozoite inside the dog’s gut. This way, it grabs the intestinal walls of the dog to feed. If there are a large number of these parasites feeding on the intestinal walls of the dog, the symptoms begin to appear. Trophozoites reproduce and some become cysts, which are expelled by feces and ingested by other animals, thus initiating a new cycle.


Giardia in Dogs – Symptoms

There are many asymptomatic gynecological infections, that is, the dog shows no clinical signs. However, when the dog has many microorganisms from these housed in the intestine, these are the most common symptoms of giardia :

  • Diarrhea alternating with normal stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Possible vomiting (rare)
  • Bloody and stinky stools

Diagnosis of canine giardia

To perform a diagnosis , stool analysis is essential . A diagnosis based on clinical signs is practically impossible, since there are dozens of diseases that cause diarrhea in the dog.

Since this parasite is not constantly expelled by feces, it is normal for your veterinarian to take samples of stool for several days to perform various tests. Usually tests are done for three different days.

Giárdia in dogs – how to treat?

The treatment is made on the basis of antiparasitics prescribed by the veterinarian. Some of the drugs most commonly used for the treatment of giardia are Fenbendazole, Albendazole, Metronidazole, etc.

Giardia treatment in dogs – albendazole

As mentioned above, albendazole is one of the most commonly used antiparasitics in the fight against this disease. This drug is not only used in dogs, but also in cats.

Since these parasites are highly resistant in the environment , cleaning is one of the key points of treatment. If your dog defecates indoors or on the porch, you should collect the stool immediately and disinfect the place. You should remember that this disease is a zoonosis and your dog can pass it on to all members of the family, so all care is little. Let the disinfectant work for at least 20 minutes before washing so you increase the odds of killing the parasites.

Giardia in dogs can kill?

In general, when diagnosed in time, the prognosis of giardiasis is good. However, in cases of immunosuppressed animals and elderly animals is quite dangerous, and can kill.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles like Giárdia in dogs – causes symptoms and treatment of Giardiasis , we recommend you to go to our section on Parasitic Diseases .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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