Dogs

Giardia In Dogs – Does Giardia Kill Humans?

Giardia In Dogs
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Giardia is a dangerous parasite that affects dogs and unfortunately, this parasite can be tracked all over the globe. Not to mention, there are lots of many precautionary steps which every dog owner can follow to save their dog from Giardia.

Thankfully, we have ample information about giardia and let’s discuss them in detail with respect to giardia in dogs.

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What Is Giardia In Dogs?

Uniquely, giardia is a single cell organism which dwells in the intestines of amphibians, birds, and mammals. At present, the various “assemblages” of Giardia as it’s called and each and every assemblage attacks one group of animals.

Moreover, all Giardia assemblages carry the same kind of transmission and life cycle.

Stages of Giardia

Stage 1 – Trophozoites or mature parasites – They live and multiply in the intestines.

Stage 2 – Cysts – Cysts are present in the infected animal’s feces and are known to survive for many weeks. However, cysts turn into mature parasites when ingested by some host and they repeat their life process.

How Giardia Spreads In Dogs?

how-giardia-spreads-in-dogs

 

First and foremost, your dog must somehow get ingested and it can happen in one of the many ways such as

  • Drinking feces-contaminated water or eating grass containing feces.
  • Also, dogs love to taste things such as drinking water stagnated in a puddle, eating poop, or chewing on a bone, etc. Therefore, they can contract giardia in any way.
  • Dogs are capable enough to spread giardia to other dogs and hence consult your vet if any of your pets show signs of Giardia.

How Does Giardia Affect Your Dogs?

Giardia does not generally cause problems, but however when it does affect it can create a lot of problems. In other words, Giardiasis refers to the infection and like in humans, diarrhea remains the number 1 symptom.

Notably, the parasite curtails and decreases your dog’s capacity to regularly absorb electrolytes, water, and nutrients. Moreover, weight loss and diarrhea sets in.

Also, diarrhea can remain continual or intermittent and failure can lead to death in certain cases. In general, this disease severely affects old dogs, dogs having compromised immune network, and puppies.

Main Symptoms Of Giardia In Dogs

The only way to confirm whether your pet suffers from Giardia or not is to contact a vet. In addition, there are various symptoms of giardia that every dog owner must be aware of. They are

  • Poor fur condition or coat appearance
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting sensation or vomiting
  • Lack of weight gain
  • Loss of weight
  • Diarrhea

How To Treat Giardia In Dogs?

Your vet will carry out several tests and then discuss an individual treatment plan for your dog if he has giardia. He may prescribe the traditional pharmaceutical drugs such as metronidazole and fenbendazole for 3 to 10 days to kill the parasite in the gut.

Fenbendazole is a de-wormer and is one of the safest drugs. It is more effective than metronidazole. But, it can cause vomiting as a side effect in your dog and some canines are allergic to it.

Metronidazole has a success rate in treating giardia. But, it may cause more side effects such as lethargy, blood in urine, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness in your dog. It’s also not safe for pregnant canines.

So, the vets may prescribe a natural alternative to pharmaceutical products to avoid the unwanted side effects. These natural alternatives will be plant-based products having anti-parasitic properties.

Sometimes, the vet will prescribe a combination of both drugs to canines having refractory diarrhea. Such dogs may also need supportive treatment.

Your dog may also need follow-up tests and treatments based on the severity of the infection. Retesting is usually done 2 to 4 weeks after completion of treatment.

The vet will also suggest repetition of fecal exams to confirm the removal of the infection.

You can follow a few tips while your pooch is getting treatment. This will help it to avoid getting the risk of infection again.

  • Bathing will reduce the repetition of infection and helps in the removal of parasite from the dog’s body. So, bath your pooch’s rear end with high-quality dog shampoo to remove any cysts.
  • The easily digestible diet will help your pooch having diarrhea during treatment.
  • You can add nutritional supplements to your dog to regain the weight it lost.

Home Remedies

You can reduce giardia infection in your dog with a few natural remedies. But, these remedies are moderately successful. But, there is nothing harm in using them.

Your dog can take them as a food supplement, which will be much easier for them when compared with the drugs. Also, they are not expensive and the dog owner can provide such treatment at home without veterinary assistance at the early stage.

Grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver, and oregano oil will kill the microbes, including parasites, bacteria, and viruses. You can get them from stores and use it on your canine by following the instructions.

You can also try out the below-discussed herbal remedy for your giardia-affected dog.

Things needed

  • 2 parts licorice
  • 2 parts Oregon grape
  • 2 parts cleavers
  • 1 part garlic

Instructions

Provide a combination of the above-mentioned things to your dog at least 1 hour before a meal.

Dosage:  ¼ teaspoon (i.e. 1 milliliter) of the combination is enough for a dog weighing 20 pounds. Provide the dosage twice daily for 10 days. If the canine does not show a significant improvement, consult a holistic veterinarian.

Caution – Call your vet immediately when your dog shows signs of diarrhea.

How To Safeguard Your Dogs From Dangerous Giardia?

Unfortunately, Giardia may persist in your pooch regardless of treatment. Dogs often get repeated infection themselves during treatment or they may be nonresponsive to the drugs.

It is thus vital to take precautions to reduce exposure to this parasite. No dogs can develop immunity against Giardia and it won’t cause permanent damage. But your pooch may need some time for the intestinal lining to heal after the removal of the infection.

So, every dog owner can follow simple things which can go a long way in preventing giardia: 

  • Ensure your dog has access to clean and pure water round the clock. Thereby, you are stopping your dog from drinking water from dirty puddles.
  • In case, you live in an area where the tap water contains giardia, install an effective filter that removes the cyst. Also, you can offer boiled water at room temperature.
  • The most important step is taking general hygiene and dental-related hygiene very effectively.
  • In essence, you can avoid taking your dog to areas which contain dog feces. Moreover, training your dog and boarding facilities must be ensured with clean and disinfect yards and runs are mostly free from giardia and other killer diseases.
  • In fact, keeping your hands clean after handling dog feces is a simple way to protect yourself.
  • Avoid dirty water especially during travel and use a water filter in case your water source contains giardia.
  • In particular, giardia can reside in soil and food, so clean all products and keep your hands clean.
  • Overall, you cannot curtail giardia using your regular heartworm, tick, and flea and pest preservatives.

Does Giardia Kill Humans?

  • In fact, keeping your hands clean after handling dog feces is a simple way to protect yourself.
  • By avoiding dirty water especially during travel and use a water filter in case your water source contains giardia.
  • In particular, giardia can reside in soil and food, so clean all products and keep your hands clean.
  • Overall, you cannot curtail giardia using your regular heartworm, tick, and flea and pest preservatives.

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