Giardia is a persistent intestinal and stomach parasite that can seriously damage the intestines. Every time we see that there are more dogs infected by this parasite. Unfortunately, this infection is not always recognized or detected. This is because giardiasis is not always detected during a stool inspection, whereas the infection does exist in the intestines. It is necessary to carry out at least three tests to give a correct diagnosis and even then it is not 100% reliable, since this parasite has a very particular life cycle.
Giardia is a zoonosis that is highly infectious. It is easy for an animal to become reinfected by eating or drinking infected food or water or through direct contact with infected animals (for example, dogs that eat feces).
The dogs that are most at risk are usually puppies and dogs that have low defenses (caused by stress, age or disease). We also often see imported dogs infected with the giardia parasite. Many times tests have been carried out in their country of origin, however, in nine out of ten cases the parasite is not detectable. After the trip, which causes a lot of stress, the parasite springs into action.
Recognize the symptoms of giardiasis
The most common symptom is diarrhea and variable stools, from watery and ‘dung’ type to solid. There may also be blood and mucus in the stool. At the same time the dog may feel sick or nauseous and therefore have much less appetite. As a result the dog’s defenses lower even more and the parasite can attack even harder.
It is important to strengthen the dog’s defenses as soon as possible. The intestinal flora plays an important role in this process. However, you have to do it carefully, because you never know how much damage the infection has done to the intestines. As many worm treatments are not effective against the giardia parasite, we advise you to give your dog metronidazole (Metrazol) or fenbendazole (Panacur) and start feeding your dog a complete fresh meat diet for five days , based on beef (make sure it contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals and trace elements). For the first two days, pour boiling water over the meat (in a colander) for two seconds, so that the meat is less raw and thus give the intestines a break.
After these five days you should gradually reduce your intake of fresh beef and add a full diet of fresh beef containing at least 60% green (unwashed) casings. (Make sure it contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.) This is the beginning of the recovery of a healthy intestinal flora (read the article “intestinal flora” in our Farm Food HE publication).
A healthy intestinal flora is important to avoid sensitive intestines, increase defenses, improve food digestion, etc. Follow the fresh meat with green casings diet for a period of 14 days. You can then gradually switch to our Farm Food HE cold-pressed complete food.
In the beginning it is very important that you divide the daily amount of food over several meals a day. If the stool does not improve, contact one of our nutritional experts to discuss a possible (dietary) solution.