Giardia in Dogs: What You Need to Know as a Dog Owner

More on PawNation: diarrhea in dogs, dogs, Giardia, giardia in dogs, giardia signs, householdpets

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Giardia is an intestinal infection caused by an organism that can be potentially serious for household dogs if they are young, malnourished or debilitated. As part of a Paw Nation series providing background about the medical problems your pet may suffer, we spoke to Dr. Jon M. Fletcher from the department of internal medicine at Southeast Veterinary Specialists in Metairie, La., to get some insights about the condition. You should always consult your veterinarian before giving medication or supplements to your pet.

What are the signs that my dog has giardia?
Soft, frothy diarrhea is the primary clinical sign.

How common is giardia in dogs?
Giardiasis has a reported prevalence of 4.7-10 percent in the general population, but possibly up to 100 percent in kennel settings...[It] is not a common cause of acute diarrhea in family dogs. Most infections are asymptomatic. If clinical disease occurs, it is most commonly acute and often self-limiting [where the disease runs its course without need of external interference] small bowel diarrhea. Severe and prolonged diarrhea may result in dehydration and critical illness. giardiasis less commonly causes intermittent or chronic diarrhea, weight loss or vomiting. Persistent diarrhea may lead to chronic debilitation.

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