Giardiasis In Dogs: Common Symptoms And Treatment

I have been living alone with four dogs since I moved to the city because of my job. One time, I noticed one of my dogs having uneasiness. It took me three days to bring him to the veterinary clinic. The vet pointed out that he has a Giardiasis, an infection caused by a single-celled parasite called giardia. This parasite has infected my dogs’ intestines. In this article, I would want to share with you the common symptoms of Giardiasis I’ve seen myself, as well as the treatment recommended by the veterinary doctor.

Common Symptoms Of Giardiasis

Diarrhea

This is one of the symptoms I have noticed the most. At first, I thought that my dog has just eaten a bad thing that caused him diarrhea. But according to the vet, diarrhea happens when the giardia started affecting the lower intestines.

Vomiting

Diarrhea and vomiting bonded very well, both in humans and in dogs. The vet noted that diarrhea is actually connected to vomiting. This is the same reason why Campylobacter and Salmonella aren’t being considered during the diagnosis of Giardiasis.

Disorder In The Large Intestines

This is very hard to see in dogs, and I only learned such thing the moment I brought my little boy to the vet. The intestinal disorder has been determined when the vet took a blood test to see whether the amount of white cells in my dog’s blood has increased. Giardia is found in the small intestines, but despite this, the parasite may still affect the large intestines, and the mucus in them shows the signs of disorder.

Gray, Greasy Poops

During the later stage of giardia infection, you’ll notice that your dog is producing some greasy feces that are usually grey in color.

Abnormal Food Absorption

Giardia also hinders normal food absorption. Meaning, even if your dog seems to be eating well and eats all his foods, he may still lose a few weight.

Weight Loss

Since there is an abnormality in your dog’s food absorption, expect some weight loss.

Treating Giardiasis

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There are various treatments that vets offer to cure Giardiasis. One of the most frequently used and most effective treatments is the Metronidazole, the same medication my dog’s vet suggested. This medication should be taken by the infected dog for five days. During the treatment, the medicine will clean away all the parasites inside the dog’s small and large intestines. But of course, there are other treatments aside from this one. Just be careful when picking a treatment for your dog, because there are medications that have side effects.

Know that Giardiasis in dogs is a disease that needs frequent diagnosis. So the moment you see the initial signs of Giardiasis in your dog, take him to the veterinary clinic right away. The doctor will then do the needed stool and blood tests. He will also suggest the proper treatment. Lastly, I suggest that you watch your dog intently; try not to repeat my mistake as a dog owner.