Extra attention for Giardia

Extra attention for Giardia

Giardia is a stubborn stomach and intestinal parasite that can do a great deal of damage to the intestines. More and more often we are seeing dogs that are infected with this parasite. Unfortunately this infection is not always recognised or even detected. The reason is that giardia is not always visible from an inspection of faeces even though the infection is in the intestines. To test properly at least three tests have to take place, however even that is not 100% reliable because this parasite has a very particular life cycle.

The reason:

Giardia is a zoonose, that is highly infectious and a reinfection can quickly take place from eating or drinking infected food or water and from direct contact with infected animals (for example dogs that eat faeces).

Dogs that are at the greatest risk are mostly young pups and dogs that have poor resistance (caused by stress, age or sickness). Equally we often see that dogs that are imported  are infected with the giardia parasite. Often they have been tested in their country of origin, however in nine out of ten cases the parasite is not visible. After the journey, which causes a great deal of stress, the parasite comes into action.

Recognising the symptoms of giardia:

The most common complaint is diarrhoea and inconsistent faeces, from as thin as water to ‘cowpats’ and occasionally solid, and possibly containing a lot of blood and slime. At the same time the dog can be sick or nauseous and therefore have a lot less appetite. Through this the dogs resistance is even lower, and the giardia parasite can hit even harder.

Treatment::

It is important to build up the dog’s resistance as quickly as possible. The intestinal flora plays an important role in this, however it must be carefully built up, because one does not know how great the infection is and whether damage has been done to the intestines. Because a lot of treatments for worms are not effective against the giardia parasite we advise you to give your dog Metronidazole (Metrazol) or fenbendazol (Panacur) and to begin with five days of Farm Food Fresh Beef Complete or as an alternative a complete fresh meat diet based on beef (make sure it contains all the required vitamins, minerals and trace elements), of which for the first two days pour boiled water over the meat (in a colander) for two seconds, in order to make the meat less raw, and so to give the intestines a rest. The following 3 days give the dog Farm Food Fresh Beef Complete raw.

After these five days you slowly reduce the intake of Farm Food Fresh Beef Complete and add Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete or as an alternative a complete fresh meat diet containing at least 60% of green (dirty or unwashed) tripe (make sure it contains all the required vitamins, minerals and trace elements). This is the start of rebuilding a healthy intestinal flora (see the article “intestinal flora” on page 28 and further).

A healthy intestinal flora is important to prevent sensitive intestines, to build up resistance, improve digestion of food, etc. Once your dog is eating Farm Food Fresh Tripe and Heart Complete it is sensible to make this its only food for the following 14 days.

It is particularly important in the beginning that you divide the daily amount of food over several mealtimes per day. If the faeces does not improve, please contact one of our nutritional experts to search for the possible (dietary) solution. Should you have any questions or need personal guidance then we are of course pleased to hear from you.

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