How to Recognize and Treat Giardia in Dogs

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Can humans get infected with Giardia from dogs?

What is Giardia in Dogs?

Giardia is a type of parasite that can affect dogs and other animals. It is a protozoan that is transmitted in stool and affects the digestive system of the dog, causing diarrhea and other symptoms. Most of the infections are mild and go away on their own, but in some cases it can be difficult to properly diagnose and treat Giardia in dogs and other animals.

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Symtpoms of Giardia in Dogs

The symptoms of Giardia in dogs can vary, but there are some common signs that you may observe. These may include soft stools, steatorrhea (undigested fat in your dog’s stools), vomiting, weight loss, and abdominal pain. In some cases you may observe the presence of blood or mucus in the stools.

Diagnosing Giardia in Dogs

In order to properly diagnose Giardia in your dog, your veterinarian will likely perform a fecal float test. This test involves putting a sample of the stool in a specialized solution and looking at it under a microscope. If Giardia cysts are present, they will be visible and your veterinarian can make a diagnosis.

Treatment for Giardia in Dogs

The treatment for Giardia will depend on the severity of the infection and the individual needs of your pet. If the infection is mild, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to help reduce the symptoms and clear up the infection. These medications may include antiparasitics, antibiotics, and dietary modifications such as a low-fat diet.

In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend surgery to remove the Giardia cysts. Surgery is generally reserved for severe cases that have not responded to other treatments and is usually not the first line of treatment.

Key Takeaway: Giardia in Dogs

Giardia is a protozoan parasite that can cause mild to severe symptoms in dogs and other animals. It is important to watch for symptoms such as soft stools, vomiting and weight loss and to seek veterinary care if these are observed. Diagnosing Giardia requires a fecal float test and treatment will vary depending on the individual case. Medications and dietary changes may be prescribed for mild cases, while surgery may be recommended for severe cases.