Summer Parasites To Look Out For
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.
Preventing Giardia in Dogs
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the saying goes, and this is certainly true of Giardia. While we can’t always control every aspect of our dog’s environment, there are some things owners can do to prevent Giardia in dogs.
The most important thing is making sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times. This will reduce the chances of dogs lapping up water from infected puddles and is also vital for your dog’s general health. If you live in a place where Giardia is present in the tap water, purchase a filter that is proven to remove Giardia cysts from the water or boil your dog’s water. Boiling water will kill the cysts, but remember to let it cool before offering it to your dog!
The other important preventative action you can take is paying attention to general hygiene. Pick up after your dog as soon as possible. This will prevent the cysts from entering the environment and will also make your yard a healthier place for dogs and people.
You can also take care not to bring your dog to places where there are large amounts of dog feces, as this will limit the possibility of exposure. Boarding and training facilities that take the necessary steps to clean and disinfect runs and yards are less likely to have Giardia, along with a number of other unpleasant diseases.
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or SDWR, provides custom-trained service dogs for invisible disabilities such as Autism, Diabetes, PTSD, and Seizure Disorders. If you have any other questions about our Service Dog Raiser Program please visit our FAQ page. For more information visit www.sdwr.org or call (540) 543-2307.