|Giardia protozoa are very|
weird-looking, like creatures
from outer space.
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.
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.
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.