G I A R D I A
Giardia commonly affects dogs, cats and humans.
Eating stools, raw diet and scavenging will increase the risk of developing Giardia. Even if your pet is not a high risk animal, they are not excluded from getting Giardia.
Gardia is a parasite which affects the small intestinal tract, it is not a worm it is a single cell called an organism.
Most of the time dogs are affected, but cats can also be sensitive to Gardia.
Gardia causes recurrent episodes of diarrhoea or chronic diarrhoea, with or without fresh blood or mucus. It can sometimes cause recurrent vomiting. Your animal may look well and have a normal appetite, may be a little lethargic, but recurrent vomiting/diarrhoea can be a sign of Giardia.
As not all dogs and cats will show symptoms, they will still infect the environment. Your pet can also have self-limiting infections, then will only have a one-off phase of the symptoms and will not come to the point of further reseach.
Giardia forms very strong cysts in the environment, this makes reinfection very likely if no additional environmental treatment. Giardia can live for around 3 months but in warm and dry conditions Giardia may only live for 1 month. We suggest steam cleaning kennels to avoid infection to new dogs.
Giardia is very contagious and can spread to humans:
- contact with stools
- Dogs and cats licking their back end and picking up the cysts and then licking human hands and face
Giardia is not treated with normal worming treatment because it is protozoa (single cell).
Diagnosis for Giardia is done through stool samples. The stool needs to be collected in a certain way and then sent off the a laboratory for analysis.