By Jean Hofve, DVM
This is a protocol that I heard about many years ago for getting rid of Giardia, and have used many times successfully (and safely) in cats and dogs. We even cleared a cattery that had many infected kittens.
This protocol utilizes digestive enzymes on an empty stomach. With no food in the system, the digestive enzymes go to work on anything else that might be in the intestinesâincluding parasites. Although I have not tested it with other protozoal parasites, it could theoretically work for Coccidia, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidia, Neosporum, Tritrichomonas foetus, and similar protozoal parasites; I have seen documented evidence of successful treatment of Coccidia.
Youâll need a bottle of digestive enzymes (plant or fungi based) and one or more syringes; you can usually talk your vet into giving you a few 3 or 6 cc syringes (without needles).
Do not use products containing solely animal-based enzymes or pancreas extracts. While such products will not hurt your pet, plant or fungal enzymes are more likely to survive the stomachâs acidic environment, and still be working when they get to their destination.
You can buy enzymes at any health food store, or order online. However, avoidÂ enzymes in combination with herbs or food supplements. The pet product Prozyme works well; or you can use a human supplement such as Source Naturals Daily Essential Enzymes, Jarrow-Zymes Plus, or Enzymatic Therapyâs Mega-Zyme.
If possible, use a product containing protease, amylase, and lipase (some also contain cellulase). These digest protein, starch, and fat, respectively. If you have trouble finding a good combo product, you can theoretically use protease (such as bromelain or papain) alone. However, the results may not be as good.
Enzymes MUST be given on an empty stomach for best results.
Take 1 dose (according to label directions for pet products) or 1 capsule of enzymes (human product) for each animal to be treated. If youâre using a capsule, open it and just use the contents. Do not give the capsule whole; the gelatin in the capsule will interfere with the enzymesâ effects.
Mix the powder or capsule contents with a tiny amount of water to make a slurry. Use the syringe to give the slurry by mouth. In most cases itâs easiest to insert the syringe in the corners of the mouth between or behind teeth and squirt. The mixture does not taste that bad, but some cats are just not gracious about taking meds. So, be careful, but firm.
Give enzymes three times a day. It is not necessary that they be evenly spaced. Before work, after work, and at bedtime is a schedule that works for many people. Give 1/2 hour before meals.
Give one (1) dose of digestive enzymes 1/2 to 1 hour before morning and evening meals, and one (1) dose at bedtime. Take the syringe apart and rinse clean after each dose (otherwise the residue builds up and the plunger will stick). Repeat daily for eight (8) days.
Take a break for 7 days. This allows time for resistant cysts to âhatch.â
Repeat digestive enzyme treatment for 7 days.
If you leave food out for your pet 24/7, this protocol will NOT work. Food must be given only in meals, separately from the enzymes (1/2 to 1 hour after the enzymes).
If there is food in the system, the enzymes will digest that instead of the Giardia, and be carried out of the digestive tract with the food. They need time to work, and they need to be all by themselves.
If there is anything else given with the enzymes, such as probiotics or vitamins or flavorings, the enzymes will digest those. However, simple sugars or single amino acids are fine.
Do not try to hide the enzymes in a pill pocket or a piece of cheese â remember, the tummy must be empty!
You mayÂ alsoÂ add enzymes to your petâs food to improve digestion overall, but mixing enzymes with food will not have any effect on Giardia.
The protocol must be done exactly as written for best results.
You are free to make any additions, substitutions, or changes you want to the protocol, but if you do, then it is no longer the same protocol andÂ it may not work.Â
And thatâs it! In my experience so far, this has worked 100%. We would love to hear from you about your results. Please email email@example.com with your review!
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