SlimDoggy Health Check: Intestinal Parasites
The next installment in our SlimDoggy Health Check series continues our look at Parasites, specifically intestinal parasites.
Giardia is a single-celled organism that lives in the intestines of dogs. It is one of the more frequently found parasites and typically affects older dogs and puppies. It is typically contracted by drinking water or feces infected with the parasite. Symptoms mainly exhibit themselves in stomach upset and diarrhea. The stools will be foul smelling and possibly have a greenish tinge, mucus and possibly even blood. Untreated it can lead to weight loss, poor conditioning and even death. Giardis can easily be diagnosed with a simple fecal sample and treatment with an antibiotic for 5-7 days usually takes care of the problem. It can be passed to humans, so if your dog is diagnosed with it care should be taken to disinfect properly and thoroughly. As with many of these types of parasites, prevention is through cleanliness.
Coccidia are all small protozoa, or single-celled organism that live in the intestines of animals. It is most often found in puppies as they have no immunity to the organisms. As dog’s age, they develop a natural immunity. You may find coccidia in most dogs without any ill effects. In puppies, it’s a different story and classic symptoms of watery diarrhea and possibly vomiting can develop quickly and be devastating. Quick diagnosis and treatment is essential. Diagnosis is made through examination of a fecal sample and treatment with sulfa drugs follows. The drugs do not kill the organisms, but they do limit their growth allowing for the pups immunity to develop and take care of the organisms. Since they are carried through the feces of infected animals, prevention centers on keeping puppy areas, kennels, bedding, etc. clean. The protozoa can also be carried in drinking water and by fleas and ticks.
Giardia in Dogs
Intestinal Parasites In Your Dog And What To Do About Them
Coccidia (Coccidiosis): A Cause of DiarrheaIntestinal Parasite (Coccidia) in Dogs