Giardia in Kittens
Giardia is an parasitic intestinal infection which affects cats. It is rare in kittens but when it does occur, it needs the proper treatment.
- The infection is caused by Giardia Inestinalis
- It is a protozoa and should not be confused with other intestinal infections caused by tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms
- In people, it widely known as the cause of ‘traveler’s diarrhea’
- Although a rare occurrence in cats, it can be very commonly in densely packed areas like pet stores and shelters.
- Kittens are known to shed more giardia cysts in their feces than adults cats do
- Ingestion of giardia cysts is the common mode of transfer for the disease.
- Cats may also be infected by drinking water that has giardia cysts in it.
Symptoms of Giardia in Kittens
The clinical symptoms of giardia are often acute, they include:
- Foul smelling diarrhea
- Soft to watery stool
- Fresh blood in the stool
- Excessive mucus in the stool
- Weight Loss
Cats can often carry giardia cysts without getting infected. Cat fecalysis that reveal giardia is quite common. It is when it is accompanied by diarrhea that owners should start to worry.
Treating Giardia in Kittens
- Metronidazole ??” This is the most common treatment method for giardia in cats and kittens
The duration of treatment is going to depend on the situation. Generally, a treatment of metronidazole will last 5 to 7 days. Cats may also be given supplemental drugs that will help to relieve symptoms associated with the disease.
Given that the survival rate for kittens with giardia is high, it is important that the condition is treated immediately.
Can Giardia be transmitted to Humans?
It is unclear if cat to human infections of Giardia is possible. Some studies suggest that the infection can only be spread from one human to another. It is, however, important to practice proper infection control.
Dogs are prone to parasitic infections due to their dietary habits.
What is Giardia?
- Giardia is a shortened term that can refer to Giardiasis or the name of a parasite.
- Giardiasis is a state of being infected with the Giardia parasite.
- The Giardia parasite lives in the intestines of animals, such as dogs.
- Puppies or dogs with low immune system are more prone to acquiring this parasitic infection.
- Dogs in kennels or shelters are also prone to acquiring Giardia.
Symptoms of Giardia in Dogs
- Dogs infected with Giardia do not often show symptoms of an infection.
- Symptoms usually show after 7 to 10 days after ingestion.
- Telltale signs of Giardia infection include acute or chronic diarrhea, nauseas and vomiting, dehydration, weight loss, and abnormal stools that look pale, greasy and have a bad odor.
Treatment of Giardia in Dogs
- Giardia is treated with the use of anti-protozoals or anti-parasitics.
- There are different types of anti-parasitics used to treat Giardia. The choice depends on the vet as to the parasite’s sensitivity to the drugs, the toxicity of the drug to the dog, and the number of side effects.
- There are also natural remedies that are able to treat Giardia infection.
- Natural remedies that have been known to work against Giardia include Grapefruit Seed Extract, certain herbs, as well as supplements that strengthen the natural flora of the dog’s intestines.
- Prevention against Giardia in dogs is available to protect the dog from further or future infestation.
- Prevention comes in the form of a vaccine that can be acquired from the local vet.