Can Dogs Infect People With Giardia?

by Elizabeth Muirhead
    Puppies are more likely to be infected with and shed infectious giardia.

    Puppies are more likely to be infected with and shed infectious giardia.

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    Like it or not, your furry friend is a potential reservoir of infection for you. Multiple species of giardia exist: Some infect potentially any mammal, while other species are more animal-specific. Your doctor can make the best recommendation, but if you are a healthy adult, you are less likely to get giardia from your dog.

    If your dog is having diarrhea, you should take her to the veterinarian for evaluation to diagnose the cause, which could be contagious. Your dog may be infected by drinking from a contaminated water source, which can infect you. Puppies and dogs in kennels appear to shed more giardia than sole-pet canines. Your dog may be able to infect you, although this transmission is not fully understood.

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    About the Author

    Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.

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