Our Portland veterinary hospital, Peninsula Dog & Cat Clinic, provides comprehensive veterinary services for small pets in the North Portland area. Our experienced vet, Dr. Kenneth DeRemer, is passionate about looking after the health and wellness needs of your pets, and works to provide care that keeps Portland dogs and cats healthy. Although we do everything we can to prevent illness and maintain your pets' health, sometimes pet owners come to us worried that their beloved animal companion is ill. One of the illnesses we sometimes see at our animal clinic is Giardia in pets.
What is Giardia?
Giardia is a parasite that lives in your pets’ small intestine, and causes them to experience several health problems which could become major if not treated. It occurs more frequently in dogs and cats that spend a great deal of time outdoors as it is usually found in water or other materials that may have been soiled with feces from other animals. It frequently hits the youngest pets who are curious about everything they encounter, but can be ingested by eating or even sniffing a contaminated substance.
Although some pets that have been infected by this parasite do not present any symptoms, others may experience vomiting, diarrhea and a change in the appearance of their feces. If left untreated it could interfere with digestion, resulting in weight loss and deteriorating health, and may even lead to death in the most serious of cases. It can be particularly devastating in younger pets whose immune systems have not fully developed yet, or older pets whose immune systems might be compromised by other health issues.
Treatment of Giardia in Portland Pets
If your pet is exhibiting any unusual symptoms or behaviors, contact our Portland veterinarian immediately to set an appointment. Our vet will perform a thorough examination, request stool samples, and may call for other tests to aid in the diagnostic process. Most lab results are received within 24 hours, and our vet will analyze them in conjunction with other factors regarding your pet’s health to determine if Giardia is present and is the cause of the illness.
Treatment options for Giardia which our Portland veterinarian might consider include drugs that attack the parasite or bacteria, depending on your pet’s health history. Although the prognosis is usually good for most animals, it is still possible that your pets might carry some of the parasites, even after treatment, so it is always recommended to clean up after them, to avoid contaminating others. To prevent Giardia in your pet, make sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water available, and try to avoid areas which might be contaminated with feces from other animals.
Contact us today at 503-285-7661 today to set an appointment or to ask our vet about Giardia in pets. “Like” our Facebook page to receive ongoing tips about pet health and wellness from our Portland vet.