Know About Giardia?

We know it’s gross to talk about poop, but we want you to be informed pet owners! We’ve been hearing from too many customers that their dogs have Giardia, picking it up at local dog recreation areas and swim spots.

What is Giardia?
Giardia is a protozoa that lives in the intestine of affected animals. It’s not rare, but not all animals actually get sick from it. It’s easily spread in contaminated water, and can live in damp environments for quite some time in its cyst form. It’s very difficult to find in fecal exams so multiple tests may be needed to verify it.

The main symptom of Giardiasis is diarrhea. It may come and go, be of a varying “quality,” and could even look pale & greasy. If you’ve been changing foods thinking it was a food allergy but your pet still has diarrhea, it may be Giardia. If your pet has diarrhea combined with an inability to gain weight, he probably has Giardia. Persistent Giardia can also cause lack of appetite, stomach distress, and foul breath. Untreated Giardiasis can lead to intestinal scarring and susceptibility to other diseases, so if you are in doubt, talk to your vet.

A weakened immune system can contribute to the growth of Giardia in your dog’s system. This is why some dogs are unaffected by Giardia while others become terribly ill.

What can weaken the immune system?

  • Stress
  • Poor intestinal health (lack of beneficial bacteria)
  • Processed food diet
  • Other health issues
  • Some medications

Of course you should work with your veterinarian if you suspect Giardia. There are also natural food supplements that, when used correctly and consistently, can prevent and treat some cases of Giardiasis.

Use these if you suspect exposure to Giardia, or simply to boost your pet’s immune system and digestive health:
  • Probiotics
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract tablets
  • Immune Boosting herbs (OL-Immune, BlackLeaf, etc.)
  • OxyDrops

Don’t just treat your pet’s body – the environment is a key factor:

  • Avoid parks (especially dog parks) and freshwater recreation areas until your dog’s infestation is resolved (don’t spread it around!).
  • Diluted Grapefruit Seed Extract can be used as a topical disinfectant on your pet and on surfaces (always disinfect where your dog has pooped if they have Giardia).
  • The best defense is dryness and heat – so let your yard and patio dry out this summer.
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