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View Full Version : Anyone dealt with Giardia?? :-(



diego_ella
15th September 2007, 04:35 PM
Hello! My name is Cynthia and I'm new to the site. I found the site after researching some symptoms my 19 wk old Tri Cavalier (Diego) was having. First I have to say that Diego is the absolute best dog I have ever owned!! He's my first Cav and I fell in love with the breed the first time I laid eyes on Sex and the City's Charlotte York's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel! :D

When I picked him up from the breeder on July 6th, she told me he had coccidia and gave me some albon to give to him. When I took him to his first vet visit a few days later, they confirmed it and gave me more albon. After a week or so, he began to poop A LOT and it was runny and appeared to have blood in it. When I went back to the vet for his shots, they said his stool came back negative and that it may just take awhile for the coccidia to leave his system. All of a sudden his stool got better! We went a week or so with no problems. Then it all came back. By this time he was going in for his final round of vaccinations and I brought up the issue again and again they found nothing. :confused: I was starting to get uncomfortable with their lack of concern because I knew something wasn't right. Finally, after a week of "accidents" and seeing the pitiful look on Diego's face when he's unable to control his bowels, I went into a walk-in clinic and sure enough they ran some test and found he has Giardia!! :(

Part of me was extremely relieved because at least now we've figured out what it is which means we can treat it, and of course the other part of me is still worried and anxious to get this resolved.

I was wondering if anyone else has dealt with Giardia and what your experience was like (the symptoms and the treatment). I'm wondering how long it will take for the meds to take affect. They have me giving him a 1/4 tablet of Metronidazole twice a day and some doggie imodium twice a day.

Thanks for listening and sharing your experience...oh, and I love this site! :rah:

~cynthia~

shippers
15th September 2007, 05:22 PM
Welcome Diego Ella! You should find lots of advice from people on here. Really sorry to hear Diego has been ill. Hope he's on the mend now. If I'm right in thinking Giardia is highly contagious to humans. My boyfriends brother caught it when he was 10years old and it resulted in public health coming to the house and giving him antibiotics. He was also on Metronidazole. He recovered within days. I'm sure now Diego is on the correct treatment he will recover quickly. Well done to you for persisting and getting him the best possible care to prevent dehydration :rah:. Just be careful with the rest of the family and use good hand washing to prevent spread of infection especially if children are around. Hope he is better soon.

Karlin
15th September 2007, 07:35 PM
Welcome and glad you found us. :)

First: That's unfortunate and a bit worrying that breeder would have sent him off to you with this condition, expecting you to treat it. The pup should have been totally clear first and SHE should be expected to cover these additional costs. What does your contract say regarding this? Usually a good breeder will be responsible for problems that clearly *accompanied the puppy* from her home. :-|

Second: Yes, giardia can be a pain to pinpoint and to treat. It can also recur. The younger the pup, the less mature its immune system and the more prone it may be to such issues. A lot of us find puppies can have on and off digestive problems that seem to pretty much disappear by age 1. Hopefully you'll have nipped this problem now! :) His tummy should begin to settle very quickly.

BTW just be sure you aren't feeding treats or something like milk that also might cause the runs. Puppies seem to be more sensitive to some foods and when offered rich treats for example everything comes back out in a rather unpleasant form.

diego_ella
15th September 2007, 10:31 PM
Shippers you are right...unfortunately it is highly contagious to humans! The vet advised us to disinfect the house and wash our hands constantly! No children around but my husband and I are totally freaked! LOL

Karlin, this was my first purchase from a breeder and I've learned so much from the experience. Not only from selecting a breeder but from selecting a veterinarian as well!! The contract simply said I had 72 hours to get Diego to the vet, which I did and the vet only found the coccidia which the breeder had disclosed. The symptoms of giardia didn't come about until later and I can't pinpoint where or when he was infected. The most frustrating thing was continuously being told they couldn't find anything and never giving any clear direction on what to do for him. I understand things are hard to detect at times, but they never even acknowledged that it was an issue and didn't seem concerned about finding the root cause. I felt so helpless! The first vet seemed to be really routine, went through the motions of vaccinations and sent us home without any helpful guidance. This new one I saw yesterday actually carried on a conversation and went into everything under the sun concerning carrying for my puppy. I learned so much and they even called me this morning to check on Diego and that was really reassuring. (btw, Diego's mood has never changed. He's always happy and cheerful as ever. Just gloomy poop! LOL) The new vet costs a lot more but it goes to show you get what you pay for ;)...and Diego is just priceless!! :D

WoodHaven
15th September 2007, 11:04 PM
Welcome and glad you found us. :)

First: That's unfortunate and a bit worrying that breeder would have sent him off to you with this condition, expecting you to treat it. The pup should have been totally clear first and SHE should be expected to cover these additional costs. What does your contract say regarding this? Usually a good breeder will be responsible for problems that clearly *accompanied the puppy* from her home. :-|

Second: Yes, giardia can be a pain to pinpoint and to treat. It can also recur. The younger the pup, the less mature its immune system and the more prone it may be to such issues. A lot of us find puppies can have on and off digestive problems that seem to pretty much disappear by age 1. Hopefully you'll have nipped this problem now! :) His tummy should begin to

Coccidia- single cell organisms
A pup is born without the infection-- they usually get it from their dam. Once they get it -- they usually become immune to the affects of coccidia, but this can take a LONG time (up to a year or more)-- but they are usually still present. If they have a surpressed immune system or are under stress-- it will flare up. It is usually treated with Albon in puppies. If you wait too long the pup may need supportive care.

Giardia- single cell animal -- people can get it (I've often wondered if this is what people refer to as "montazuma's revenge". It is often found in puddles and untreated water wells. Some treatment includes anti bacterials-- sometimes it just resolves.

I wouldn't have homed a puppy that already had an outbreak of coccidia-- stress wouldn't help his recovery.

WoodHaven
15th September 2007, 11:10 PM
I just wondered something -- did the vet give a vaccination to your pup while he was ill?

*Pauline*
16th September 2007, 12:31 AM
I just wondered something -- did the vet give a vaccination to your pup while he was ill?
I was thinking that icon_nwunsure

diego_ella
16th September 2007, 02:41 AM
Yes he did receive vaccinations. As I mentioned, the vet carried on, business as usual. Of course I didn't know any better...

That sucks to know that it could continue to flare up. I was hoping I'd seen the worst of it and that it would only get better from here.

Just from being on the meds for a day I've noticed a slight improvement so that makes me feel a little better.

CVFlagg
16th September 2007, 04:10 PM
My little one had giardia when I first got him home. He was a rescue, so of course no one had any idea he was sick until he got home and starting going potty and it was all gooey. It is extremely contagious to both humans and other animals (I ended up with a mild case myself :(), my vet told me that everytime he pooped for the next 7 days I had to spray a 50-50 mix of bleach and water on each poop. My grass looked lovely, but it grew back and after 10 days, we were giardia free.

I guess that if you don't kill the organisms in the poop, they can keep getting reinfected if they lick, eat, etc. old droppings. Even if you pick them up, the spot they were in still needs to be sprayed. Lots of handwashing for you and your husband! Hope this helps.

diego_ella
16th September 2007, 05:50 PM
My little one had giardia when I first got him home. He was a rescue, so of course no one had any idea he was sick until he got home and starting going potty and it was all gooey. It is extremely contagious to both humans and other animals (I ended up with a mild case myself :(), my vet told me that everytime he pooped for the next 7 days I had to spray a 50-50 mix of bleach and water on each poop. My grass looked lovely, but it grew back and after 10 days, we were giardia free.

I guess that if you don't kill the organisms in the poop, they can keep getting reinfected if they lick, eat, etc. old droppings. Even if you pick them up, the spot they were in still needs to be sprayed. Lots of handwashing for you and your husband! Hope this helps.
It does help! We always pick up the poop but it was so soft that it seemed to not matter much since we'd still be leaving so much behind. I'll definitely do the bleach mix! Fortunately his poop is already much firmer so it's not as messy cleaning it up.

Thanks for the tip!

sunshinekisses
19th September 2007, 07:28 PM
I have been battling giardia for several months, it took us a long time to figure out what our dog had...since it is sometimes hard for the vet to detect. But I have learned that once a dog, or person has it that it never really goes away but lies dormant in the body and will show itself when the dog is stressed. We used panacur to cure our boy (a rottweiler) of it. It was a week on, week off and a few more days on. He is symptom free now and finally gaining weight. Some dogs don't seem to have any ill effect and it cures itself but other dogs, for whatever reason, continue to have flare-ups. If you google search giardia you will find some very educational information.

Scouty girl
19th September 2007, 09:24 PM
IMO I would still call the breeder and make her aware of what's been happening.

When I went to pick Scout out and bring her home she was very quiet. The other puppies were also quiet (as quiet as a puppy can be). The breeder was two hours from my home. About 1/2 the way home I heard what I thought was a cough. My niece was in the back seat holding her. I said Kate was that a cough and she said yes, I believe it was. She did it a few more times, I was concerned. When I got her home she would cough every once in a while. It would end with a choking sound.

I called the breeder two days after I brought Scout home and she said that someone else had also called saying that their puppy was coughing. The woman said that she would cover the costs of any vet visits, of course I had to send her duplicates of the bills.

I took Scout to the vets the next day. She was given anitbiotics. A week went by, no better, went back again, different kind of liquid was given. Still not change. Went back had an x ray done to check to make sure she wasn't obstruct and to take a look at her heart (?). I was very concerned. Finally, the third or fourth visit worked, no more coughing and $170.00 later. I was reimbursed.

KingstonsMom
20th September 2007, 05:00 PM
A responsible breeder would never sell a sick puppy. In fact, I'm not sure it's even legal in some states to knowingly sell one. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that this breeder would be held accountable for your vet costs in a court of law. If this happened to me, I would demand she pay the bills (to at least teach her a lesson).

In the future, I would steer clear of buying any puppies who aren't in perfect health. :)