Giardia is a parasitic protozoa which lives in the intestines of infected dogs and cats. Giardia is commonly found in the environment, and can be found in ponds, rivers, puddles and even the soil. Dogs commonly contract Giardia by ingesting an infected cyst that has been shed in another animalâs faeces or by drinking contaminated water from puddles or rivers. Once the cyst finds itâs way into the intestines, it releases the parasite.
Many pets are asymptomatic; however in some there may be acute or chronic diarrhea. If left untreated, this can progress to severe bloody diarrhea as well as weight loss and other related digestive system problems. Diagnosis is made by a special fecal test which can be performed at your veterinarianâs practice.