What is Giardia and/or Coccidia?
Ah..the dreaded moment..
Your young adult pup starts looking a little droopy…
Perhaps you notice some diarrhea, or some excess drooling.. what is wrong with your poor, sweet pup??
PS: For Emergencies, Please Contact Your Vet ASAP.
Dealing With Parasites
A quick trip to the vet, and it’s confirmed..your beloved family member is indeed suffering from some malevolent organisms..
Namely nasty, microscopic parasites living like kings in your pup’s intestinal system.
Side Note: For the sake of our readers, I won’t go into too many gory details.. 🙁
Introduction to Giardia and Coccidia
Now before moving on, let us assure you, these tiny parasites are fairly commonplace, and thankfully, readily treatable.
There are few dog owners that won’t face some kind of parasitic infestation in their dog or puppy, especially when young, as their immune system is still developing.
As you might have already guessed, both Giardia and Coccidia are tiny parasites found living in your pup’s intestines.
So let’s take a look:
Giardia, as it’s commonly known, is caused by a tiny micro-organism of the same name. Dogs and puppies can pick it up from infected water, or from the feces of other infected dogs.
Symptoms can be acute, or intermittent, and generally shows itself as loose, very smelly diarrhea, excessive gas, vomiting, and/or a general lack-luster appearance.
Lovely creatures, eh?
Like Giardia, Coccidia is caused by tiny parasites living in your pup’s gut. Not as aggressive, many adult dogs never show any symptoms, and most develop a natural immunity to it.
However, in young dogs and puppies, it can be much more serious, due to a still developing immune system. Coccidia is passed on thru microscopic cysts or eggs in the saliva, and feces of infected dogs, and can even be spread through contaminated ground in your backyard.
Symptoms are quite similar to Giardia symptoms, with loose diarrhea, excessive gas, etc.
It is also much more common, and quite contagious among dogs.
Quick Fact: Giardia can be contagious to humans. Coccidia on the other hand, is Not.
Despite their nasty symptoms, both Coccidia and Giardia are quite treatable, and is not usually serious or carry long-lasting effects.
The exception to this can be in young puppies, if left for too long before treatment. Their immune systems are not yet fully developed, thus making them much more vulnerable. (For this reason, we always recommend getting a vet diagnosis as soon as you suspect something amiss.)
Typical treatments can last for one to three weeks and is generally highly effective. Several rounds of treatments may be necessary to clean up any lingering symptoms.
The best defense against parasites and other diseases is a good offense! Get your pup to the vet within 72 hours of taking it home – your pup may look and act completely normal but the stress of re-homing and exposure to new elements can produce symptoms that are best caught as early as possible.
Some things to remember: Just because your new pup has a touch of diarrhea, or acts a little lethargic, does Not automatically mean he/she has parasites!
There are a number of other ailments that can cause symptoms, even just the stress of re-homing and a new environment can cause loose stools.
The best practice is to keep your pup’s environment as clean and sanitized as possible, and keep him or her on a vigorous food and supplement diet. This ensures your pup has all the nutrients needed to grow a strong and healthy immune system.
We use and highly recommend Life’s Abundance Nutritional System
IMPORTANT: Always get a professional vet diagnosis. Sometimes what appears to be parasites is something else entirely.
Will My Puppy Suffer From Giardia or Coccidia?
Statistically, there’s a good chance you will deal with parasites (But not necessarily giardia or coccidia) at least once in your pup or dog’s life.
At Hidden Acres Puppies we take careful measures and monitor our pups closely to ensure they are strong and healthy before they go home.
Once they are in your care, that responsibility is passed on to you. Typically young dogs will develop a natural immunity to parasitical ailments and other diseases as their immune system is developed.
Again, the best defense is a good offense!
A best practice is to keep your pup with minimal contact with other dogs (Such as the dog park) until at least 6 months old, and keeping it on a hearty diet, along with supplements, especially in its first year of life.
If you suspect yours might have contracted a parasite infestation, take it in for diagnosis asap. Treatment is the most effective when caught early.