Giardia Prevention in Dogs

by Chris Miksen
When your pup's around lakes, make sure he doesn't try to drink the water.

When your pup's around lakes, make sure he doesn't try to drink the water.

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The parasite Giardia causes some rather uncomfortable and awful gastrointestinal symptoms in canines. Preventing giardiasis -- the infection caused by Giardia protozoans -- calls for keeping your pup's tongue out of feces and bodies of water.

Prevention

Giardia loves to hang out in piles of poop. The parasite is present in water, particularly lakes, rivers and creeks. Your pup has to scoop the parasite up in his mouth and swallow it to become infected. Directing him away from piles of feces on walks, cleaning up animal feces present in your yard and preventing him from getting a drink from bodies of water outside prevents giardiasis, in most cases. PetMD notes that giardiasis is extremely common in kennels, so you may also want to avoid leaving your dog at a kennel facility.

Symptoms and Treatment

If you notice giardiasis symptoms in your pup -- excessive gas and diarrhea that take on a terrible odor, and possibly vomiting -- call your vet. He may want you to bring in a stool sample. If he diagnoses your pal with giardiasis, he'll likely prescribe antibiotics for about one week. Severe dehydration or diarrhea may call for other treatments.

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