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Giardia in Dogs / Giardia in Cats / Giardia in Pets

Giardia in Dogs and Cats

Herbal treatments for cats and dogs to help address Giardia and symptoms of diarrhea.

A healthy digestive tract is critical to overall health and well-being. The digestive health of an animal can impact not only the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, but can also have a significant impact on other body systems including the immune system, the liver, bone marrow and adrenals.

Giardiasis is a diarrheal disease caused by the microscopic parasite Giardia. Once an animal has been infected with Giardia, it serves as a host to the parasite, which embeds in the intestines and is passed in feces. Once shed outside the body, Giardia can sometimes survive for weeks or months.

Dogs and cats develop the infection by ingesting infectious offspring (cysts) that are shed in another animal's feces. The contamination can be from direct or indirect contact with the infected cysts. The organisms, once ingested, make their way into the intestine, often causing diarrhea. The treatment is typically performed on an outpatient basis with a good prognosis. Pets, like humans, can occasionally encounter a bout of diarrhea, however, Giardia is a much more serious form of diarrhea.

An animal can contract Giardia by:

Swallowing Giardia from a contaminated surface that contain stool from an infected animal

Drinking water or using ice made from water sources where Giardia may live (untreated or improperly treated water from lakes, streams, ponds, springs, rivers, or wells; stagnant water)

Eating uncooked food that contains Giardia organisms

Having contact with another animal who is ill with giardiasis

Anything that comes into contact with feces from infected humans or animals can become contaminated with the Giardia parasite. People become infected when they swallow the parasite. It is not possible to become infected through contact with blood.

Common symptoms include: 

Diarrhea

Gas or flatulence

Greasy stool that can float

Stomach or abdominal cramps

Upset stomach or nausea

Dehydration

Loss of appetite

Vomiting

Weakness

Lethargy

Fever

Numerous defecations throughout the day

Straining after defecating.

Giardia infestation may be mild or severe. This condition affects loss of fluids within the body, which can lead to dehydration, acid-base imbalance or electrolyte interference.

If diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, fever and your pet refuses to drink water, consult your vet as soon as possible.

In order to prevent episodes of diarrhea occurring in your pet, there are a number of things that you can do and these include:

Feed your pet high quality, commercial pet food or a well balanced all natural diet that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients (avoid corn, wheat, soy and foods with chemical additives or preservatives)

Add in a balancing herb to help expel the infection, settle native gut flora as well as help the body maintain electrolyte balance

Avoid feeding your pet table scraps, bones or snacks and exclude bran, sugar and lactose products from diet

If your pet has loose stools, consult your vet regarding a fast for your pet. Sometimes giving your pet's stomach a rest by withholding food for at least 24 hours and water for 12 hours, may help to ease an irritated stomach (Be mindful of electrolyte balance with is critical with Giardia infections)

After your pet’s fast, feed him a bland diet of cooked rice with skinless chicken and follow with small amounts of plain yogurt which contains natural bacterial cultures and soothes the bowel

Try not to make any sudden changes to your pet’s diet. Add new foods gradually by mixing it with the old food. Give your pet 5-7 days to introduce a new diet

Inspect your pet’s stool daily for abnormalities such as loose stools, blood or mucus in stools

Ensure that your pet is de-wormed regularly

Keep your pet away from spoiled food and garbage cans

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies can provide relief for both dogs and cats suffering from giardia, to promote firm stool formation, healthy bowel functioning, to soothe the stomach, the digestive and nervous systems and acts as an antiparasitic, antibiotic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.  

Seal ‘Em & Heal ‘Em – (learn more) promotes healing for all types of wounds, including hot spots, abrasions, bites, cuts, scrapes, skin irritations, infections, bleeding & hemorrhaging conditions, ulcers, GERD, esophaghitis & other degenerative conditions of the larynx & throat; provides cellular support of tissue, skin & coat; for gastrointestinal distress; as a neurasthenic that blocks the activation of nerve fibers & tissue response to inflammation, supporting the body's tissue repair mechanism to stop mutations (important in the treatment of all types of Lyme disease, including Lyme borealis, burgdorferi, borreliosis & Chronic Lyme disease (CLD); and may help remove plague and tartar upon application to help support healthy teeth and gums.

Shake Ur Groove Thing  (learn more) promotes healthy bowel function, purification, gentle parasitic detoxification and body clarification; waste and toxin removal, including pesticides, environmental toxins found inside and outside the home, chemicals related to flea and tick products and drugs regimens such as NSAID’s and synthetic glucosteriods and corticosteroids; helps remove inorganic synthetic and derivative compounds from an animal’s cell walls to help reduce toxic load in the body; also used for cramping, pain, constipation, gas and bloating; helps support a correct balance of native intestinal flora and helps calms the digestive system; promotes immune balance and helps to limit inflammation, which is important in disease prevention; used holistically for anal fissures, fistulas, hemorrhoids, food allergies and hypersensitivities and as a general skin support. 

Hepa Protect – (learn more) supports proper liver function and metabolism, bile production and flow, rehabilitates the performance, health and repair of the liver, kidneys, bladder and gall bladder, rehabilitates and detoxifies the kidneys and liver; tones and balances the connective tissue of the liver, kidneys and bladder, normalizes liver enzyme levels, regulates kidney acid/alkaline levels, for all types of stones and gravel of the liver, kidneys, bladder and gallbladder, including oxalate and struvite crystals and stones; reduces uric acid, for gall bladder inflammation, gall stones and gallbladder infections, for renal colic and renal calculi; helps to protect red blood cell formation, useful in diseases such as ehrlichia, ehrlichiosis.

Yummy Tummy – (learn more) promotes Probiotic digestive, urinary, bladder and gall bladder support, for all types of digestive disorders, promotes proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients, for bladder (cystitis) and kidney (pyelonephritis) infections, tones and strengthens the connective tissue of the bladder related to urine leakage and urinary incontinence, as a natural, plant-based steroid alternative, provides important support for cramping, pain, discomfort, Gastroenteritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), prostate inflammation, BHP, prostatitis, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) and for Candida albicans.

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of diarrhea is based on the symptoms presented, a thorough physical examination and review of your pet’s medical history. Your vet will take a fresh stool sample to check for internal parasites, blood tests, x-rays, ultrasound of the abdomen or endoscopy to determine the cause of diarrhea.

Mild episodes of diarrhea can be managed at home. This can be done by withholding food for 24 to 48 hours, but always make sure that water is available to avoid dehydration. When diarrhea stops, feed your pet a bland diet of cooked rice with chicken in small amounts 3 to 6 times per day.

Afterwards, you can slowly return him to his normal diet. However, do not withhold food from puppies or kittens or administer any over-the-counter medications – consult your vet first! In cases of severe diarrhea, a specially formulated diet will be prescribed together with anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medications and intravenous fluids.

 

 

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