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PODCAST: Giardia … cha cha cha …

Diarrhea has a number of causes, but one that we’ve seen quite a bit in our patients recently is Giardia, a parasite that is transmitted in stool (Giardia can be transmitted to humans in this way, but people most often get this parasite from contaminated water). Once a pet is infected, it will typically take 5-12 days in dogs and 5-16 days in cats for the parasite to be found in the stool — however, diarrhea can occur before the parasite actually shows up in the stool.

To diagnose Giardia, your veterinarian will need a fresh stool sample from your pet. As this parasite cannot be detected by the naked eye, the doctor will examine the sample under a microscope. Sometimes the test may need to be repeated, as this parasite can shed intermittently — so while an initial test may come up negative, further tests may come up positive. A newer variety of test is the “snap test,” which tests for Giardia proteins in the stool. The snap test does help improve diagnosis; however, while almost all veterinarians have the capability to look at a stool sample under the microscope, the snap test is less readily available, and not all veterinarians will be able to offer it.

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2 Comments
  1. Reply
    Jacqueline

    I found My dog eating grapes from the fruit bowl on xmas day didnt know they were harmful, that night she had diareah which i didnt find until morning the next day she seemed sad and not herself very quiet a few days later i noticed she wasnt eating well and the hair on her back was standing up and it was hard to get her to go outside to wee. A few days later she was shivering and i thought she had a chill and i took her to the vet. She had lost 2kgs since her last visit a few months before the vet checked her over and couldnt find much wrong and told us to try chicken and rice as she is known for a sensitive tummy. If she didnt eat i was advised to take her back for a scan and blood tests. We took her home and gave her chicken and rice which she ate. She seemed to be picking up a little and playing with her toys. Tonight she is constantly licking her vulva and when she stands up its leaking out dripping when i wiped the drips it is blood stained what does this mean i am really worried she is 8yrs old and i am taking her back to the vet in the morning PLEASE HELP X

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Check her kidney values and a urinalysis. She might have gotten grape damage or have a severe urinary tract infection. I would be concerned about the grapes. The kidney blood tests should possibly be repeated in a week if they are good or bad. It will give you more information. Sorry to hear about this and good luck. The chicken and rice can only help for the time being and you should keep doing it if she eats. Hope for a simple urinary tract infection.

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