Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GIARDIA!

Giardia protozoa are very
weird-looking, like creatures
from outer space.
Now that Gabe has left us, Mom can spend more time worrying about the rest of us dogs.  She started doing this right away by worrying about Mel and Barry.  And the reason she worried about them is because they were having diarrhea, which they had been doing for several weeks, really, but not every single day.  Well, on the day after Gabe died, Mom was taking Mel and Barry for a walk, and they both had very soft poop, so Mom took samples of it to Dr. Patricia's office.

The day after that, Nurse Allison called and said that Barry had giardia for sure, and that Mel might have it, even though the lab didn't find it in his poop.  And besides that, I might also have it, even though they didn't even look at my poop!  So all three of us dogs have to get treated, and Mom had to take a kitty poop sample to Dr. Patricia's office to find out if the cats have giardia, too.

Now every day Mom puts this white powder stuff on our supper, and it's called Panacur, and since it tastes okay, we don't mind having it on our food.  But we still don't know if the cats have giardia or not, so they don't get any white powder stuff yet.

And here's the worst part:  when we are all finished with taking Panacur for five days, we all have to get BATHS!  I totally hate baths, as I might have mentioned before, so I will probably make it as difficult as possible for Mom to give me one!  At least that's my plan.




Anyway, I got to wondering what this giardia stuff really is because all I know is that it makes you have diarrhea.  People can get it, too, but they might get a different type of giardia than dogs get because there are several kinds of it, and nobody totally understands everything about all the different kinds.

But what we know for sure is that giardia is caused by these teeny tiny things called protozoa, and they get into your guts, and then they stick to the walls of your intestines.  After that, they start dividing themselves up to make a whole bunch more protozoa, and then when there are enough of them, they roll themselves up into a cyst and they go out of your body in your poop.








So after these cysts get outside of you, another animal might eat them or drink them up from some lake water or something like that.  Mom says that this is why we should not eat cat poop when we are out taking a walk, but I can't hardly resist eating anything as totally yummy as cat poop.  Also, if you are hiking in the woods with your mom or dad, you shouldn't drink out of lakes and streams and puddles.  But if you are thirsty, of course you are going to want to drink some water, and if it's right there in front of you, it's pretty hard to just say no.



Sometimes giardia is called "beaver fever" because beavers are all the time pooping in ponds and spreading the little cyst thingies.

Giardia can also get spread around in kennels and places like that.  A lot of dogs and cats probably have the little protozoa things inside them, and they don't really get sick.  But others do get sick, like about 8% of adult dogs in North America, and 36%--50% of puppies.  Dogs in kennels or shelters have up to a 100% chance of getting giardia.

The symptoms are usually diarrhea and maybe weight loss.  Giardia can hurt the inside of your intestines and make it hard for you to get all the good nutrition stuff out of your food.  This is what makes you lose weight, and it can also make you dehydrated.

Some people are trying to make a vaccine for giardia, but so far all they have done is to make a shot that helps treat giardia after you already have it.  They are still working on it, though, so maybe one day I can just get vaccinated, and then I can eat cat poop without having Mom yell at me.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Piper - Di here! Mom read today's blog to Dodi and I and showed us the pictures. That giardia thing is a weird looking thing to have in your body!! I don't think I would want it in mine! Just between you and me you might as well get use to your mom being a bit protective with you and the others. My human sister told me after mom got me and Dodi, it was fairly soon after she'd lost Chickie and Shi - and she was always looking at us to make sure we were healthly. I think it's only because she loves us so much! Mom told me your mom loves all of you ALOT too!
    Love, Di

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  2. Dear Di,
    I hope you and Dodi don't have any of those funny-looking protozoa things inside you. I guess you are right about Mom loving us and so that is why she is worrying about us and being protective. I thought maybe she was just looking for more ways to run up the vet bill. LOL
    Love, Piper

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  3. Effectively, quickly and without any side effects giardia can be diagnosed and cured by new medical portable device "DETA-AP".

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  4. Thank you for this good information. I am glad there is a fast way to diagnose and cure giardia now!

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  5. i liked the images......:)

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  6. WTF!? DOGS?! TYPING?! WUT?!

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    Replies
    1. Yep, it takes some practice, but it can be done! LOL!

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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