Giardia – what is it and how can I support my dog?

Giardia are parasites in the digestive system which steal important nutrients from the dog’s small intestine. They can also cause inflammation and prolonged diarrhea.

This information is for all dog owners whose dog has been diagnosed with Giardia. It is for all those Dog Owners who think their dogs will just not get better suffering for weeks or even month. It also is for proud Puppy Owners who have been waiting for month to welcome their new family member into the house and are now think to have a “worry child” forever. As well Dog Breeders who receive angry accusations and calls that they have sold the new owners an ill Puppy and being threatened with Lawyers and wanting their money back. Please all be patient – The one who suffers the most is the dog and it will take some time.

Most prone to develop Giardia are Puppies and it can be regarded as a type of childhood disease, but also adult dogs can suffer from it. When Puppies move into their new home, being separated from mother and siblings, new smells, new sounds and everything they knew has being safe for them is gone, the immune System can be weakened. In their new environment, everything will be examined, sniffed, licked or rolled in. Their curious nose can sometimes come in contact with contaminated thin diarrhea on a blade of grass and once their little tongue licked this – it already happened. The Puppy has infected itself with Giardia.

What are Giardia?

Giardia are a worldwide common form of single-celled microorganisms. Already an ordinary fly can transfer the disease from hedgehog faeces out of your own garden into the feeding bowl of the dog. In many cases, Giardia are harmless, microscopic small creatures that colonize the intestine and feed on the flowing food porridge. Giardia pathogens have been detected in scientific studies in 70 percent of all puppies and 16 percent of all adult dogs. Due to the inaccurate tests, even a dark figure of almost 100 percent has to be expected. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Giardia are a part of the normal intestinal flora of the dog. Not a lot of dogs get really ill, their body has learned to deal with the Giardia. Only the mass multiplication of the Giardia and inflammatory processes trigger the Giardiosis is the actual disease.

Giardia are single cell organisms, which live as parasites in the small intestine of humans, dogs, cats – even birds and reptiles, multiply there and are excreted highly contagious. They cause diarrhea and vomiting. The disease caused by the Giardia has the medical name Giardiosis. In the intestines of humans and dog, there are a multitude of microbes, which form entire communities as intestinal flora. Most of them are useful and help us digest the food. But some of the microbes can harm us, especially if they have multiplied greatly. When the immune system is intact and strong, these microbes do not cause much problems. But especially with our smallest fur-noses, puppies and young dogs the immune system is not so strong and does not cope so well – so that these young animals are often particularly heavy and long-term infested by Giardia.

What can be Signs?

  • dog has always got diarrhea
  • the diarrhea is slimy, greasy, also porous to watery – often yellow-green
  • sometimes the feces gets firmer again and then mucus-covered
  • often the dogs ‘business’ is foul-smelling, sometimes foamy
  • the diarrhea can also contain some blood

What Factors can promote the growth of Giardia?

  • a weakened Immunsystem
  • Stress for Puppies from separation from mother and siblings
  • eating feces of other animals
  • change of food
  • wrong food
  • high amount of simple carbohydrates such has maize, rice, wheat

When should I consult a VET?

  • When in doubt (!) always consult a Vet
  • Puppies, Senior dogs or dogs with a chronical illness straight away
  • when diarrhea lasts longer than 2-3 days
  • when the general condition changes
  • when the dog develops a temperatur
  • change in behaviour
  • blood in the feces
  • when you do not have a solid diagnosis, because this is only possible to be done by a Vet
  • when you consult a Vet, take feces samples over 2-3 days.

How is Giardiosis treated?

  • The medication is given orally in form of tablets
  • the dog will be treated over 5 consecutive days with the medication – 3 rest days – another 5 day treatment
  • often the whole procedure needs to be repeated for another cycle after 2 weeks

Active pharmaceutical ingredients are

  • Fenbendazol
  • Metronidazol
  • Febantel
  • Albendazol
  • Spartrix

Holistic approach and Home remedies to support Giadiosis Treatment

  • Moro’sche carrot soup
  • Herbal Buttermilk added to food depending on Size of the dog a Teaspoon or Tablespoon – here to the recipe
  • Propolis from a Bee Keeper 3 x a Teaspoon to strengthen the Immune System
  • Collodial silver (more info to follow)
  • Coconut-oil, daily 1/2 Tsp for a small dog and a Tablespoon for a big dog to be added to the food.

Easy Home Remedies to help the gut flora after a treatment with Antibiotics

  • feed small amounts of Beef Tripe or Leaf Tripe
  • organic probiotic Sauerkraut
  • probiotic Yogurt