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Giardia

sometimes the cause of your dog'd diarrhea

giardia in a gerbil gut

Courses of Action

Treatment
Panacur or SafeGaurd brands of dewormers contains the ingredient fenbendazole which works by binding to the proteins in parasites and damaging the transport function of the cells. This drug is available over-the-counter and usually comes in power form. Dosage is based on weight and is given once a day for 3 consecutive days. Results have shown to be ineffective if complete treatment is avoided. This medication can be mixed with a small amount of food. Moisten if used with dry food. Full dosage must be consumed for best results.
Side Effects
Fenbendazole is considered an extremely safe remedy for treatment of giardia and other intestinal infections. Side effects and overdose are rare and unlikely. This drug has been reported to be safe for use with pregnant and lactating dogs as well. Occasional loose stools have been reported. If your dog shows any signs of allergic reaction, use of fenbendazole should be discontinued. It's also possible that dogs will react to dying parasites: this looks like mucus in the stool or a plug of poop followed by diarrhea or vice versa and feeling a little tired for a couple days as the body rids itself of the parasites.
Prevent Reinfection
To prevent reinfection of giardia, there are a few things you can take into consideration. Hygiene is very important, as this parasite is spread by contamination. Always avoid parks or yards with large amounts of feces, and keep kennel and living areas clear of waste and debris that may collect bacteria. Cleaning with bleach disinfectants or tea-tree (melaleuca) products is very effective at ridding common areas of the possibility of infection. It has been said that no medication can cure giardia 100%. Some of the giardia cysts may stay dormant for years by burrowing into the lining of the intestines, where they become almost impossible to kill. During times of stress in your dog's life, or situations that cause weakening of the immune system, this infection may reoccur so it’s important to support you dog with a low stress-supportive diet. A species appropriate diet (low card high meat) that is moisture dense is how to accomplish this. Also supplementing with diatomaceous earth, garlic, marshmallow & slippery elm will all help prevent re-infection.
Vaccination
There is currently a vaccination available for giardia. It's not intended for the prevention of giardia, but rather as an additional treatment option once dogs are already infected. The use of this vaccine may be recommended for people who are involved with a kennel situation, but the average dog owner may not benefit by using this product.

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