I first learned about dog getting this infection called giardia because my neighbor's dog who loves to drink puddles after it rains here in South Florida contracted it.
After I saw all of the necessary treatment his dog went through to manage the infection, I was online researching how to make sure it didn't happen to me or my puppy, Belle.
I ended up going to my routine checkup for Belle and asked the vet tech about giardia. She told me that it's not super common, but it can happen depending on what your dog puts in their mouth and that I need to be careful as well.
Today I will teach you what I learned that day and onward about giardia and how to make sure you and your dog don't get it.
What is Giardia?
For your dog to contract Giardia, he needs to ingest the single-celled parasite. It then inhabits your pet's intestines.
The parasites attach to the intestinal wall and cause a sudden onset of very odorous diarrhea. You can learn how to treat Giardia in dogs at home, but the best thing to do is seek veterinary care.
How Can My Dog Get Giardia?
Your dog can contract Giardia by drinking water that has been contaminated, eating contaminated stool, or eating other things that contain the parasite.
Giardia is passed through the stool of infected animals. If that stool infects a local water source or your dog eats grass or chews on a stick next to the contaminated stool, he may contract the parasite.
Weight loss and fatty stool are also symptoms of Giardia. Diarrhea, however, is a common sign. The stool may be a greenish color and range from soft to watery. It may also contain blood.
This disease is not usually life-threatening, but if left untreated, it could cause more severe health conditions to develop.
If you have a very young dog or your Fido's immune system is compromised, Giardia may be a much more serious concern.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Giardia?
You won't be able to know for certain without a proper positive lab test from your veterinarian, but these symptom are a telltale sign:
- weight loss
- inability to gain weight
If your dog shows any of these signs, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.
While these symptoms could point to Giardia in dogs, they could also signify another parasite or a more severe health issue.
Giardia In Dogs Treatment
Unfortunately, no home remedy has been proven to treat Giardia in dogs effectively.
You can buy over-the-counter anti-parasitic medications for your pet, but these may not be 100% effective either.
Oregon grape is a natural antibiotic that could be used to treat Giardia in dogs.
The recommended dosage instructions are 12 drops for every 20 pounds of body weight daily.
Cloves contain an active ingredient called Eugenol. This substance has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
While it may be safe for your dog in small doses, if you administer too much, it could be toxic.
Some holistic veterinarians say that giving your dog 1 clove for every 10 pounds of body weight per day could cure Giardia.
Garlic is another home remedy that has been shown to get rid of certain parasites. However, this is another ingredient that could be toxic to your dog if you feed him too much.
Garlic offers many benefits for dogs, but you need to administer it properly.
The maximum recommended daily dosage is:
- Small dogs – up to ¼ clove
- Medium dogs – ½ clove
- Large dogs – up to ¾ clove
- Giant breeds – up to 1 clove
I recommend seeing your veterinarian for medical treatment to ensure that your dog's parasite problem is taken care of as soon as possible.
They will prescribe an anti-parasitic that is proven to work to remove the pests from your dog's system within hours.
How is Giardia Cured by Veterinarians
If you're dog contracts giardia, they will prescribe a standard antibiotic like fenbendazole or metronidazole.
Fortunately, it's a quick prescription and just make sure to monitor your dog each day to make sure they are improving.
Depending on the severity of the giardisis in your dog (vomiting or nonstop diarrhea), your vet might double up on another prescription or therapeutic to stop further dehydration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Get Giardia From My Dog?
It is very unlikely, but if you're dog has giardia make sure you thoroughly wash your hands when you pick up after them.
Otherwise, it can happen.
Giardia in Dogs: Closing Thoughts
We all hate seeing our dogs go through any physical illness so make sure to keep an eye on them when they are curiously trying to find a spot to use the bathroom.
If you have a puppy, let me tell you they are interested in anything so be on the lookout even more so.
Fortunately, the treatment for giardia in dogs is straightforward and a quick script from the vet.
You can also get giardia from other foreign countries when traveling from poor local water quality, so read up on the area before traveling.
I personally had a bad case of gastroenteritis when I vacationed in Cancun and Tulum. ON THE LAST DAY I GOT IT.
It wasn't giardia, but it definitely sucked considering I spent the first 4 hours of being home in the ER.
Don't make the same mistake I did.
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