Giardiasis is an infection with giardia that happens in dogs. Giardia is a one cell parasite named protozoa. This parasite infects the small intestine in the dog. There are many ways in which a dog can get infected by this parasite.

Transmission
One of the most popular methods of transmission is through drinking water that has infected cysts. The dogs that already are infested with the parasite can pass on the infective cysts out through the stool. If your dog comes in contact with that stool, he gets quickly infected. These cysts are also transmitted through eating contaminated food.

Symptoms
An infection with giardia means problems in digestion. The dog that is infected eats food but doesn’t get all the nutrients in that food.

Because of that, the dog may appear to be lethargic and he can even start to lose weight. But the clearest sign of disease is diarrhea. Even a mild diarrhea can mean infection.

Diagnosis
So that the dog can be diagnosed, the vet needs to take a sample of his stool and analyze it. You alone can take a sample of the stool to the vet along with the dog.

The vet can also take some stool by swabbing the rectum. Sometimes the tests can be inconclusive and this is why the test must be repeated a couple of times. The repeated test must be done a few days apart from the old one. Sometimes, the vet does the diagnosis by taking a blood sample and analyzing it.

Treatment
There are many medications suitable to treat this disease. Metronidazole is one of the most effective. This medicine must be taken for five days. It will clean all the parasites from the dog's intestine. Of course, there are other medications too and hey can be very efficient but they can have side effects.

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