Weâve had a spate of giardia recently â well, not us exactly. There have been a number or dogs that are coming in to board that, at my insistence, have gotten fecal tests done and found giardia present. From an article on the Texas A & M website September 10, 2010 on pet diseases that make humans sick: (http://tinyurl.com/2d2s8av):Â
âGiardiasis is a less publicized disease, but it is important to note because 20,000 cases were reported last year alone. People can contract this disease by drinking water from infected rivers where animals have defecated, especially dogs with diarrhea. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas or bloating, headache, loss of appetite, fever, nausea, swollen abdomen, and vomiting. Sometimes medicine is used to cure the disease, but giardiasis usually goes away on its own.â
This last part is especially important if you have small children:
âGiardiasis has been a real problem in day care centersâ¦ One child will contract the disease and they will easily spread it to the other childrenâ
I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First and formost clients MUST bring fecal samples to the vet regularly â every six months is our requirement. Something like giardia could spread like wildfire in here. But my second thought is that I donât want to get it. I had it in the Peace Corps and although I admired my svelte new figure after a week of having everything I eat run through me, I donât like the idea of being invaded by a parasite. For those of you with small children or immune deficiencies, the danger of a more severe reaction is real.
Itâs important to note that some dogs and some people do not show signs of illness, ergo the every-six-months fecal exam requirement.
So if you are planning on boarding your dog any time soon, or if you know you are behind on the required fecal exam, please donâtÂ putÂ off taking a bag of fresh poop to the vet.Â Itâs gross butÂ the alternative is nastier.
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