Giardia positive- no symptoms? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Giardia positive- no symptoms?

Hi there. As some of you may know, I got a new puppy, Rocco, almost 3 weeks ago. He's almost 17 weeks old now and I took him to the vet on Monday for his third round of shots. I've had no health concerns about him but the vet recommended a fecal sample as he's a pup and parasites are common. Luckily he had to go potty during our visit, so I was able to provide the vet with a fresh one for testing. They called yesterday to tell me he tested positive for Giardia. I'm shocked because his poos have been completely normal- about 3 times a day, after meals, firm, healthy color, normal smell, etc. In fact, he hasn't had runny poo at all (a few have been on the softer side but I wouldn't describe as runny). He eats fine, though he's not a huge eater and has exhibited no other symptoms of illness. The vet wants me to stop by today to pick up antibiotics - two 5 day courses. I am planning on treating him since he tested positive and I understand this is highly contagious between dogs so I don't want him to make other dogs sick, but I'm uneasy due to his lack of symptoms. Anyone have a similar experience or have any thoughts??
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 07:16 AM
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Hi there, depending on the time frame it could just be too early in the infection for your little fella to be exhibiting symptoms. If you are concerned though, you could try to get a fresh sample in a ziploc baggy to take up to the vet for another test just to confirm when you go to pick up the antibiotics.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 08:08 AM
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Be sure to wash your hands after having contact with Rocco. Giardia is also highly contagious to humans. I didn't know this, but the vet told us when we had Tucker tested for it because of diarrhea.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 10:00 AM
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Giardia is difficult to treat, but not impossible. First, it has been scientifically established that giardia is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted between animals.

However, there are specific types (A, B, C) that more commonly infect humans, cats, or dogs. So far, human type has been found in dogs so it's been proven that humans can infect dogs. The assumption is that since the human type can infect dogs, then the dog type can infect humans. It is transmitted by fecal/oral transmission, so it's important to wash your hands thoroughly after any contact with your dog. It is not easily spread to humans except under very unsanitary conditions.

It's very important to pick up your dogs feces immediately and wash the area with a strong solution of bleach (say 5 parts water to 1 part bleach). Leave the bleach on for 20 minutes. Bleach is about the only thing that will kill it. Lysol and most other cleaners don't. You will need to ensure that he doesn't re-infect himself (or other dogs) by having any contact with his feces. You will also need to wash his bottom after each poop. It's a lot of work. Some vets recommend adding probiotics along with the prescription anti-giardia drugs.
Best of luck and I hope your puppy is better soon.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input! I'll be sure we wash our hands and Rocco frequently. I just have him his first dose of mess. Let's hope he kicks this the first time around!
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