Giardia is a parasite that can infect you and your pets. Fecal ova and parasite testing is a diagnostic procedure used to detect the presence of parasitic infections in the gastrointestinal tract. Our veterinarian can perform tests for the parasite and provide treatment. We offer testing and treatment for giardia and other pests at Apollo Animal Hospital in Surrey, BC, Canada.
What Is Giardia?
Giardia is a parasite. It's a single-celled protozoan. It's a single-celled protozoan. Giardia exists around the world. It's usually the cause of the traveler's diarrhea. It's also known as beaver fever. Giardia usually causes few symptoms in pets. However, it can be problematic for young animals and those with compromised immune systems. Your pets may experience symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, and lethargy.
Giardia can be transmitted in a few ways. When it lives inside the body, it is in its trophozoite form. This form allows it to feed on the digestive system of its host. It can live for months, especially if it has water.
Pets can get giardia by drinking water or eating something with the cyst form. They can also get them by sniffing ground contaminated with cysts. Once they enter your pet's body, they transform into the trophozoite form. Some will change into the cyst form. They are passed in your pet's stool and can infect other animals.
Humans can get giardia from dogs or cats with the parasite and contaminated water. You should use proper hand washing, particularly when handling your pet's poop.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Our veterinarian can diagnose giardia with pet testing. Typically, they do a stool test and a fecal flotation test. Your vet may ask you to bring a stool sample for this test. Our vet can also diagnose giardia based on a pet exam and their symptoms. It's common to get your pet back to the vet in a few weeks to retest them. This test will let our vet know if the treatment has been successful.
The most common treatment for giardia are medications, fenbendazole, and metronidazole. In most cases, our vet will prescribe one of these medications. If your pet has diarrhea that isn't responding to treatment, our vet may prescribe both medicines simultaneously.
Keep Your Pet Healthy at Apollo Animal Hospital
You must seek medical attention if you suspect a parasitic infection or experience gastrointestinal symptoms that persist or worsen. Our healthcare provider can perform the appropriate tests, including fecal ova and parasite testing, to identify the cause and provide appropriate treatment. Additionally, they can offer guidance on preventive measures to reduce the risk of future infections. Apollo Animal Hospital in Surrey, BC, Canada, offers emergency veterinary care, routine vaccinations, and illness treatment. Call our office at (604) 372-4411 to schedule an appointment.