Pesky Parasites

Photo courtesy of Bob McLennan

There is an intestinal parasite that is plaguing the Lakeview neighborhood, and here at Blum we have seen many furry family members recently diagnosed with it. Giardia is a parasite that is Zoonotic, which means it can affect you, too!

Could my dog have giardia?

Giardia thrives in warm and damp areas, but can also fester in cooler temperatures. This pesky parasite is transmitted through cysts that contaminate the ground or drinking water. The main symptom of giardia is foul-smelling diarrhea. Although some pets may have greenish tinged, mucous or sometimes blood in their stool as well. Other times pets show no symptoms at all!

How is giardia treated?

Giardia can be easily treated with medication. The most important thing to remember is to wash any bedding, and clean floors or other areas where you pet has been to make sure all the giardia has been removed. We also recommend bathing your pet regularly during treatment to eliminate any of the cysts from their fur.

Since giardia has figured out a way to become resilient, in some cases, it can take several rounds of medication to fully eradicate it. We recommend rechecking a stool sample about 5-7 days after finishing the medication to make sure the giardia has been successfully treated.

For any further questions about giardia or how to keep your furry family member parasite-free, please call us at: (773) 327-4446.

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.