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Giardia in Young Puppies
Giardia is a microscopic parasite and lives in the intestines of dogs, cats, and humans among other species. It is more prevalent than usually thought.
A healthy body with a strong immune system usually is capable of keeping this parasite at bay. In young puppies when the body is growing and the immune system is weak, especially in sub-optimal hygiene conditions, Giardia grows rapidly and may cause diarrhea with blood in it. It gets in the way of normal development of the puppy as they lose valuable nutrients through diarrhea.
We are recently witnessing an increase in the number of young puppies infested with Giardia. Because this parasite can also infest people, especially young children, it is of utmost importance to make sure it is treated properly. The treatment initially starts with a good diagnosis which is through a simple and inexpensive fecal test and take less than 24 hours to complete. If tested positive, then the puppy should be placed on a course of treatment with appropriate medication and the fecal sample tested again 7 – 10 days after the medication is finished.
It is also important to keep hygienic standards high while the puppy is being treated at home. This involves everyone washing hands after handling the puppy, cleaning the spot where the puppy defecates with water and detergent, and cleaning the puppy’s anal area with water and soap and disposable tissue after defecation. Also make sure the care giver has gloves on while performing the above.
Please, bring in a stool sample for a fecal test when you bring in a newly purchased / adopted puppy to protect your puppy and the rest of the family!