Can dogs get giardia from sharing water?

Giardia can also be spread easily between pets living in the same household. If you have one dog who becomes infected, chances are good your other dogs will quickly pick up this parasite as well. It can be spread through licking, playing, sharing food bowls, sharing water, and even just walking in the same areas.

Try not to allow your dog to drink from puddles or other natural water sources when you are out for a walk or hike with him. Why? Because the parasite Giardia, which thrives in untreated water and can cause disease, could be picked up by him.

It’s crucial to understand the symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if your dog becomes ill. What does Giardia do to a dog, and how do you know if your pup gets infected? Table Of Contents.

Giardia is a microscopic protozoan parasite that lives in the intestines of canines, felines, humans, other mammals, birds, and amphibians (pronounce: jee-ahr-dee-uh). An infection with Giardia is called giardiasis.

Giardia has several subspecies, each of which preys on various animal species. However, each type has a similar life cycle and spreads in a similar way.

The lifecycle of Giardia has two stages. In the small intestine, where the organisms multiply and develop into cysts, the mature form, known as a trophozoite, resides. The infectious form, cysts, are shed in the feces. Cysts are resilient and can endure for several months, particularly in moist environments.

By consuming, licking, drinking, or even just sniffing something contaminated with cyst-containing feces, dogs can contract Giardia. Puddles and other water sources, grass and plants, toys, bowls, and many other sources can all be used for this.

One of the most frequent sources is contaminated water because cysts prefer moist environments.

Giardiasis is especially dangerous for puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with weakened immune systems. As a result, it is advised to keep higher-risk dogs away from lakes and other bodies of water, and to prevent your dog from drinking from puddles.

Giardia infections don’t always result in issues, particularly in healthy adult dogs. However, young dogs and other high-risk canines can exhibit the following signs.

Take your dog to the veterinarian if you notice any of the above symptoms, especially diarrhea. It’s crucial to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment for diarrhea because it can lead to severe dehydration and weight loss. Your veterinarian will perform some tests to determine whether Giardia is present in your dog’s stool.

Typically, your dog’s veterinarian will recommend antibiotics and/or antiparasitic medications as the best form of treatment. The infection usually disappears after 10 to 14 days of daily doses given to your dog at home.

Advice: Make sure your dog stays hydrated whenever he has diarrhea. Make sure he has plenty of water and electrolytes. Dogs can drink unflavored Pedialyte without harm, or you can give them Rebound, a liquid formula suitable for both dogs and cats that contains vital vitamins and minerals to hasten your pet’s recovery from illness.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment you can give your dog to stop him from contracting Giardia. But you can take some steps to help keep these parasites at bay.

Clubs Offering:

When I lived in the Caribbean, that’s where I first learned about Giardia in dogs. On the island where we were staying, giardia was a common problem, and as I looked into how to safeguard myself from the dangerous parasite, I found that my dogs were also at risk.

I learned from my veterinarian that Giardia was not just a disease that existed in other countries. The parasite is widespread throughout the globe, including in the U S. , but my vet told me not to panic. Fortunately, there are numerous steps dog owners can take to keep their dogs from contracting this unpleasant parasite. The following information about canine giardiasis will help you keep your dogs safe.

Giardia is a single-celled parasite that inhabits the intestines of mammals, birds, and amphibians. There are several different “assemblages” of Giardia, which is the scientific term used to describe the many subspecies of Giardia. Each assemblage targets a specific group of animals, but all Giardia assemblages have the same life cycle and mode of transmission.

The lifecycle of Giardia is composed of two stages. The trophozoites, or mature parasites, are found in the small intestine where they proliferate and eventually develop into cysts. The infective stage is known as a cyst, and it is shed into the infected animal’s feces. When ingested by an unknowing host, they transform into trophozoites and continue the life cycle. They can survive in the environment for several weeks as cysts.

How Is Giardia in Dogs Spread?

Your dog must consume Giardia in order to contract the parasite. Giardia can infect your dog if they consume contaminated food or drink, such as grass or water that has been tainted with feces. Dogs love to put things in their mouths, so there are many ways for your dog to acquire a parasite from his surroundings, such as by chewing on a stick, consuming feces, or drinking from a puddle.

Even if your dog doesn’t exhibit any symptoms of infection, once the parasite has entered his intestines, he can still spread it. This is concerning, especially if you have multiple pets at home. Even though it’s unlikely, transmission from dogs to cats and cats to dogs is definitely a cause for concern. Consult your veterinarian about the steps you should take to protect your other pets if one of your animals is found to have Giardia.

What are the clinical signs of giardiasis?

These tiny parasites cause damage to the intestinal wall by attaching to it, which results in an acute, sudden onset of foul-smelling diarrhea. Dogs with giardia infections may lose weight, have persistent but infrequent diarrhea, and pass fatty stools. The stool may be soft or watery, frequently have a greenish tint to them, and on rare occasions contain blood. Infected dogs tend to have excess mucus in the feces. Vomiting may occur in some cases. The symptoms could last for several weeks, and you might start to notice some weight loss.

The diarrhea may be intermittent. Although most dogs do not have fevers, they might be less active. Unless the dog has an immunodeficient or immature immune system, the disease is typically not fatal. Many dogs will be carriers of diseases but not show any symptoms of them. Younger animals are more likely to exhibit clinical signs.

These tiny cysts, which are inconsistently shed in the feces and frequently require a special zinc sulfate flotation solution for detection, may be missed by a routine fecal flotation test because they are so small. On occasion, a direct smear of the feces may reveal the parasites. A stool sample may be examined for the presence of Giardia specific antigens (cell proteins) if your veterinarian suspects giardiasis. While some Giardia tests can be used in clinics, others must be submitted to a reference laboratory. Numerous cases are presumed to have giardiasis based on medical history and clinical symptoms.

Fenbendazole and metronidazole are the two drugs that are most frequently used to treat Giardia. To treat giardiasis, these medications are typically administered for three to ten days. Both drugs may be given in combination if necessary. Dogs with refractory diarrhea (diarrhea that hasn’t responded to treatment) are typically given this combination. If severe diarrhea or dehydration are present, supportive therapy with additional medications may be required. During treatment, a low-residue, highly digestible diet may help reduce loose stools. Depending on their condition and the severity of the infection, some dogs may need additional tests and treatments. Two to four weeks after the end of the treatment, all infected animals should undergo another test. Your pet’s best course of treatment will be decided with the assistance of your veterinarian.

Feces should be removed right away and disposed of because Giardia cysts spread quickly into the environment. Animals with the infection need to be bathed frequently to get the cysts out of their coats.


Can dogs spread Giardia through saliva?

Dogs, cats, and the majority of wild animals (e g. , ducks, geese, raccoons, squirrels). Because it can also be spread to people (by having an infected dog lick your face), it’s crucial that everyone in the family adhere to safety measures.

Can Giardia be passed by sharing water?

Giardia can be spread by drinking water that has been contaminated with the parasite’s feces. Every person who enters the pool shares the water with you, along with the bacteria in it. Tens of millions of Giardia germs can enter the water if just one Giardia-infected person has diarrhea in it.

How contagious is Giardia in dogs?

How contagious is Giardia in dogs? Giardia is extremely contagious. Dogs do not develop immunity to giardia after infection, making it impossible to completely eradicate the parasite from your home or yard.

Should dogs with Giardia be around other dogs?

Giardia-infected dogs must avoid Canine to Five and all other shared dog areas until a negative fecal test has been performed.