You know what it’s like to feel sick. You ate the wrong thing, or have a virus that wreaks havoc on your intestines.
Did you know your dog or cat can feel the same way?
Our pet kids are important to us, but they can’t always tell us when they are sick. We need to be tuned in to their normal behavior and habits in order to know when something is “off” with them. When in doubt, call your veterinarian and take your canine or feline in for a checkup.
Giardia is a parasite that can live in your pet’s intestines. It usually happens more in puppies than older dogs, but can happen to any dog or cat. This parasite is picked up by drinking water or something else that has been contaminated with feces. If they have this parasite and becomes sick from it, the disease is called giardiasis, resulting in diarrhea, weight loss, poor condition and potentially death if not treated.
If your pet does have giardiasis, your vet will probably prescribe medication and a follow-up appointment will be necessary. When the medication is finished, you’ll want to take the following precautions:
- · Bathe & rinse your pet (wear gloves & do the hind end last)
- · Disinfect food bowls and toys
- · Steam clean upholstery and carpeting
- · Disinfect hard surfaces
Because a dog is contagious while they have Giardia, even as they are going through treatment, you will want to limit your pet’s contact with other dogs and humans. If your pet attends a group play environment such as dog daycare or dog parks it may be necessary to keep them home for a few weeks so other dogs are not at risk.
You’ll also want to make sure your other pets, if you have them, do not also have the parasite.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, your dog or cat should be feeling better in a couple of weeks and can resume all social activities.