Giardia is a microscopic parasite found in the feces of cats and dogs, it is not visible in your pet's feces. Giardia is not a worm, bacteria or virus. The parasite is usually found in damp areas where wildlife frequent. Giardia can affect humans but as it is a different species of the parasite that affects humans, it is unlikely to be spread from your pet to you or your family.
Signs and symptoms can include:
*Diarrhea *Foul Smelling Stool
*Mucus in Stool *Vomiting
*Decrease in Appetite
However most pets with Giardia do not actually have diarrhea. Throughout the United States 15% of symptomatic dogs and 10% of symptomatic cats will be affected by Giardia.
Treatments for Giardia are given orally for 5-7 days. If symptoms persist or return after treatment it is likely that the cause of those symptoms are not from the Giardia parasite. We will continue to work with you and your pet to resolve the symptoms.
Reinfection is possible and can occur rapidly, with similar symptoms occurring in as little as 2 weeks. Re-exposure can be managed by picking up after your dog, cleaning or replacing toys, scooping your cat's litter box more often, cleaning surfaces and bedding. Keep your pet’s sleeping area clean and dry.
Retesting after treatment is generally not recommended if symptoms have resolved, Giardia can remain in the gut causing no symptoms, this is called ‘carrier status’. Giardia tests may continue to show a positive result without cause for concern or treatment.