Giardia is a microscopic parasite that can invade the gastrointestinal tract and cause diarrhoea. It is NOT the same as an intestinal worm.
Giardia is spread by the faecal-oral root i.e the organisms that are present in contaminated faeces are swallowed by an animal (or human) leading to infection. Accidental ingestion can occur when an animal drinks contaminated water or licks contaminated soil.
The usual symptom of Giardiasis is diarrhoea. However, not all infected animals will show symptoms. The animals which are most affected are usually very young or immunocompromised. The diarrhoea affecting these particular patients can sometimes cause very serious illness.
Giardia is diagnosed by performing a faecal test and then medication is dispensed to treat the disease. Depending on the severity of illness, patients may need to be admitted into hospital for intravenous fluid therapy to help correct dehydration.
Did you know that Giardia is also a zoonotic disease? This means that it can can also cause infections in humans, necessitating the importance of good hygiene practices such as washing hands before eating.
Giardia is one of the suspected causes of diarrhoea in pets, especially in young patients. If your pet is experiencing diarrhoea, they should see a Veterinarian. To book an appointment please call our friendly staff on 3208 9233.