G is for Giardia

G is Giardia

G is for Giardia www. cdc.gov

G is for Giardia www. cdc.gov

Giardia is a protozoal infection (giardiasis) that infects the intestines of mammals, birds, and amphibians. It is most commonly contracted and spread through fecal oral contamination – inadequate hygiene and eating or drinking contaminated food and water.

Giardia lifecycle (www.cdc.gov; Life cycle image and information courtesy of DPDx.)

Giardia lifecycle (www.cdc.gov; Life cycle image and information courtesy of DPDx.)

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Symptoms are related to the gastrointestinal tract – diarrhea, gas, and dehydration. Dehydration can be so severe that hospitalization may required. Diagnosis is through fecal testing – looking for the parasite under the microscope or other laboratory tests. In animals, an in office snap test can be used and generally only takes about 8-10 minutes.

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Treatment generally focuses on antibiotics, cleaning of the environment as it can survive for long periods of time outside of the body, and supportive care, such as fluid therapy.

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Although there are many types of giardia, there is a small risk of cross species infection of giardia from dogs and cats to people. The CDC has a lovely page on pets and giardia.

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2 thoughts on “G is for Giardia

  1. I want two buttons for this blog. A like for the info part and a not like for the actual protozoan. 🙂 Our adorable pup, who actually turned one this February, came to use last year with Giardia. Pesky Protozoan. (I spent a lot of time on the CDC page and cleaning.) Great info!

    Like

    • That would be awesome! Too bad I don’t know how to make that happen. It is a very unfortunate that so many pups end up with Giardia. You can fight this little bugger for months. I hope your little one is doing much better 🙂

      Like

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