Puppy has Giardia

forwhenitrainsNovember 5, 2009

I have never posted here before,and usually don't on public forums,but I was hoping to get some opinions.

I just got my first dog,a 5 month old puppy,and I have never been happier (he is a papillon).

We took him to his first vet check,and his fecal came up that he has Giardia.I did notice a weird green tinge to his

stools and a strange odor,but other then that,he didn't seem sick with a lot of diarrhea or anything.

My husband is picking up his medication for it on his way home from work,but the vet seemed concerned that we might catch this.She said she hasn't heard of any cases where people have caught it from there dog,but to not let him kiss us on our faces.

We definitely won't NOW,but we have been letting him kiss us quite a bit up until this point.

My question is,IF we happen to catch this from our pup,what will happen to us? And,if anyone's dog has had it,what happened and how long did it take to get better?

From what I have read online,it doesn't seem THAT serious unless you get dehydrated from the diarrhea.Dogs who are treated are usually ok,and some humans don't require treatment unless their symptoms are bad.Can anyone share an experience with it or have any advice?

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Not a dog, but my kitty was diagnosed with giardia last year. The vet gave her flagyl, which made her pretty sick. If that is what your vet gives you, keep an eye on the dog and make sure he isn't acting strange, like losing balance.

What I can share with you is that we think she probably had it for quite a while before it was caught. She has health problems that make bowel problems common, so we didn't think much about her loose bowels. The vet almost didn't do a stool test on her that day, thinking that this was in indoor cat without much chance of contracting parasites like giardia. She had always shared a litter box (and everything else, and mutually groomed) with her brother cat, and he never did contract giardia. Neither did any of the human members of the family. I wouldn't knowingly take chances, as you stated, but also wouldn't worry a whole lot about it without seeing some signs that indicate there might be a problem.

If you do think you might have contracted it from your dog at some point, you go to your doctor for testing and get an RX for probably the same medication your dog will be taking. It's very treatable, and again I wouldn't worry about catching it until you experience something questionable.

I hope that helps some, or at least makes you feel a little more comfortable that there's probably a good chance you won't end with it.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 5:27PM
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Thanks quasifish,that helps a lot! That is interesting your other cat did not catch it since he may have been in contact with the infected feces.The vet seemed especially worried about my other pets catching it and I told her he was my only pet.
I will definitely try to be careful,but I appreciate the reassurance.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 5:34PM
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You'd basically have to eat infective cysts to get giardia. Most of the time, if more than one pet in a household gets giardia, it's because they are eating/drinking the same contaminated water (usually yucky puddles outside). If you got a dose high enough to cause any problems, which is HIGHLY unlikely IMHO unless you make it a habit of eating dog poop, you'd get malabsorption syndrome. In other words, you wouldn't be able to absorb all the nutrients you ate, and you might have diarrhea as a result. Most people have no symptoms and therefore treatment isn't needed. And most people get giardia the same way their pets do- eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Most people do not eat their pets' poop or eat the soil where their pets poop, so for most people, this isn't an issue. I personally have never warned a client about the possibility of getting giardia from their pet because even the CDC doesn't list that mode of transmission in their factsheet.

Here is a link that might be useful: CDC link on giardia

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 7:46PM
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Thank you so much for the info Meghane! I'm a first time dog owner,so I haven't really heard of any of this stuff and I really appreciate it.
My little guy was given 1.5cc of Panacur to be given once a day for 5 days.Stop for two weeks,and then same dosage again for 5 more days.
I don't make a habit of eating dog poop,LOL,and I feel much better knowing that it isn't something to be overly worried about.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 6:13PM
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