Canine Giardia

Giardia in dogsCanine Giardia

By Admin

What is giardia? It is a single cell parasite that lives in the intestine of dogs.  Canine giardia is caused by a microorganism present in contaminated feces and bodies of water.  Giardia in dogs is a common health problem.  Symptoms of parasitic infection include dog diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lack of appetite.  Some parasites can cause intestinal upset.  Fecal samples can be examined for the presence of giardia, and a drug called Flagyl is commonly prescribed to treat it.  Dogs with giardia do not always show symptoms.  It can be especially fatal in puppies under six months of age.

The dog giardia vaccine is not recommended because it only prevents spreading of the disease through fecal matter and not the disease itself.

Dogs, cats and all animals can get this disease.  It has the potential to infect humans too.  They are too small to be seen by the naked eye.  It is spread by feces of infected animals.  Some dogs can be carriers and show no signs of the disease.  Humans that have giardia have diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, and sometimes fever and nausea.

The best way to diagnose the disease is by a trichrome stain of fresh feces.  The cysts may not be seen on a regular fecal examination.

Treatment of giardia is done by giving the antibiotic metronidazole or Furazolidone.  Kaopectate can be given to help control diarrhea in dogs.

Since the dog parasite is spread by fecal contamination of food, water, and the environment, prompt disposal of waste is very important.

The best way to prevent giardia infection is to make sure your dog has clean drinking water.

Common Causes of Dog Diarrhea

Causes of Dog Diarrhea

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Underfeeding and overfeeding are two common causes of dog diarrhea.  Diarrhea is one of the most common problems in dogs.  Diarrhea is the elimination of watery, runny or soft stools.  The condition usually last for twenty four to thirty six hours and treatment at home is enough, unless the diarrhea persists and your pet gets severely listless.  If the dog has black and tarry stools, bright red blood in the stools, severe abdominal pain, or fever, or if the dog persistently vomits or attempts to vomit, see your Vet immediately.

Antibiotics and other medications can change the number and kind of bacteria that normally live in your dogs intestines.  This can cause canine diarrhea.

Some dogs do not have enough of an enzyme called lactase, which breaks up a large sugar molecule in milk called lactose.  Lactose pulls water into the intestinal tract to soften the stools.

Diarrhea can be caused by diet.  Eating things such as garbage, candy, tin foil, tablescraps, spicy foods, milk and bones.  Sudden pet food changes and excess fat in the diet can be diarrhea causes too.

Worms and other intestinal parasites can irritate the intestine and cause bloody diarrhea in dogs.

Parvovirus, distemper, or coronavirus can be a cause of diarrhea.

How to stop diarrhea?  Diarrhea can be managed by changing the dog’s diet and giving kaopectate to coat the intestinal tract and firm the stools.  An adult dog with diarrhea should not have food for twenty four hours.  Do not take away water.   Diarrhea in puppies may quickly develop into severe fluid losses, or dehydration.

After withholding food for twenty four hours, you can give small, frequent feedings of boiled hamburger or chicken with boiled rice for four or five days.  Be sure the food is room temperature before feeding.  Small and frequent feedings give the intestine enough time to digest the food.

The next few days, mix this diet with an increasing amount of the dog’s regular food.

If the diarrhea persists more than forty eight hours, contact your vet.  Chronic diarrhea can be life threatening.

Coccidiosis In Puppies

CoccidiosisCoccidiosis In Puppies

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What is coccidiosis?  Coccidiosis is a common protozoan disease found in puppies.  Adult dogs are not immune.  It is severe in nursing puppies.  Coccidiosis in puppies is a common problem in the southern United States.  It occurs in connection with filth, over crowding, and poor sanitation.  Intestinal parasites in dogs can cause serious health problems.

Puppies can acquire the infection from their mother or from contaminated premises.  If Kennel sanitation is poor, the puppies reinfect themselves from their feces.  Coccidiosis can spread rapidly in a kennel.

Five to seven days after the ingestion of the oocysts, the infected cysts appear in the puppies feces.  The cycle is complete in the seven days.  The first signs you will notice is canine diarrhea.  As it progresses the feces turn mucus-like and tinged with blood.  You will notice a lack of appetite, weakness, dehydration, and anemia.  It can be accompanied by a cough, running nose, and discharge from the eyes.

Mild cases of Coccidiosis can be found in the stools of puppies without casing problems, until stress from shipping or an outbreak of worms, reduces resistance.  Dogs that recover become carriers.

Your Veterinarian can identify if your puppy has coccidiosis by finding adult oocysts in a microscopic slide of fresh feces.

Treatment should begin with stopping the dog diarrhea.  A Neomycin-Kaopectate antidiarrhea preparation can be used to stop the diarrhea in dogs.  Dogs with diarrhea can become severely dehydrated or anemic, it may need to be hospitalized for fluid replacement.

The best choice of antibiotic treatment is sulfonamides and antibiotics.  This drug will remove oocysts from the stool in seven to twelve days.

Dogs that are carriers should be isolated and treated.  Kennel runs and cages should be washed daily and bleached with boiling water to prevent dog parasites.