Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of the April A to Z Challenge!
Shall I repeat myself for the gazillionth time? Yes? In that case, for this year's April A to Z Challenge, since I love to write and am working on a series of books, I'm sharing A to Z doodles relating to my stories. Much like my usual doodles and weekly poems, the stories I write are weird, wacky, and star lots of animals. That leads us to today's letter, which is K. So, what does K stand for?
How does a cat or dog become infected with Giardia? It is passed in the feces of infected animals. This means that eating the feces of an infected animal, or eating grass or other debris near where an infected animal has defecated, can result in infection with Giardia. Drinking water near where infected animals have defecated is another way that Giardia can be passed from animal to animal.
This all being said, many healthy animals can have Giardia present in there intestinal tract and not show symptoms. It more commonly becomes a problem in very young, very old, or otherwise sick animals. It is also more common in highly populated areas, such as in a shelter. If diarrhea resulting from Giardia is severe enough, the situation can become life-threatening, due to dehydration and other complications.
So, though we can't always put protective bubbles around our furbabies, do your best to help prevent Giardia from affecting your furbaby. Try to keep them from ingesting the feces of other animals, of course, or from ingesting grass or water in areas where other animals may have defecated. Also be sure to keep their feeding, sleeping, and play areas, especially those outdoors, sanitary.
If you do notice your kitty or pup has diarrhea, do not hesitate to take them and a fecal sample in for an exam by a veterinarian. Especially if your furbaby is very young, geriatric, or sick, do not hesitate to have them seen if they are displaying diarrhea. Your vet can test a stool sample for Giardia, as well as for other parasites. Of course, also be sure to administer medications and follow other treatments that your vet prescribes for your furbaby. Also, as we always say, never hesitate to ask your veterinarian about any concerns you have regarding Giardia and your furbaby's risk, treatment, or prevention.
It is also worth noting that, though nowadays is is believed not as prevalent as originally thought, it is still possible for humans to get Giardia from cats and dogs. For this reason, always be sure to wash your hands after cleaning up their waste, especially if they are known to have Giardia. Giardia is not something to take lightly, neither in our furbabies nor ourselves.