A Word About Giardia
By Linda Arndt - author of Watchword column, Great Dane Reporter Magazine.
Giardia is a waterborne protozoa (a parasite, but not a worm) which is VERY
difficult to detect. Only at certain cycles will the cysts be noticeable in the
stool. Even if the dog shows up as negative for Giardia, and they have on
again off again loose stools and loose weight, it is
Where Does Giardia Come From?
Giardia (protozoa) is a parasites that lives in water. Standing water,
bird baths, wells, puddles, lakes, streams and even in municipal drinking
water in many areas of the world. Remember the jokes about a vacation to Mexico
and one ends up spending their vacation in a motel room
with "Montezuma's Revenge"...well Giardia is usually the culprit.
Giardia is the cause of what is known as "traveler's diarrhea," be it
your trip to China or the dogs trip to a dog show. Once you understand what it
is and how to handle it, you can prevent it with 3 supplements in your daily
diet. I will give you information below. Once you or your dog has had a
bout of Giardia infestation, it is critical to remain on these 3 nutrients so
there is no serious flare-up again.
How Do I Know My Dog Has Giardia?
Most of the time, the vet is stumped as to what is the problem and even
though they treat the animal for Giardia, it comes right back once the
meds are stopped. Then the vet starts to think this might be a food allergy or
sensitivity, when infact it is just very difficult to get a handle on Giardia. I
always suggest running a check for Coccidia at the same time as a test for
Giardia, just to make sure that is not the problem as well.
A typical Giardia dog is one that will not gain weight, they may feel/act normal
but they can be on/off their feed, and/or have intermittent loose stools or
diarrhea. In the later stages, these dogs will not eat or become picky since
Giardia causes stomach upset/gas and severe cramping. It is
because of this, they will often graze on grasses excessively looking for
relief. If your dogs have these symptoms, I would treat for Giardia first,
before you start running up vet bills looking for other health problems like
expensive diets or exploratory surgery.
Giardia is a very big problem, one that goes undetected by most veterinarians.
Dr.Carol Turkington writes, "Once an infestation of Giardia, it often
reoccurs. Giardia is spread by food or water contaminated by the Giardia
protozoan organism found in the intestinal tract and feces. When the cysts are
ingested, the stomach acid degrades the cysts and releases the active
parasite into the body. Once within the body, the parasites cling to the lining
of the small intestine, reproduce, and are swept into the fecal stream. As the
liquid content of the bowel dries up, the parasites form cysts, which are then
passed in the feces. Once excreted, the cysts can survive in water for more than
three months. The parasite is spread further by direct fecal-oral contamination,
such as can occur if food is prepared without adequate hand-washing, or by
ingesting the cysts in water or food.
Turkington goes on to state, "Diagnosis can be difficult because it can be
easy to overlook the presence of the Giardia cysts during a routine inspection
of a stool specimen. In the past, the condition has been diagnosed by examining
three stool samples for the presence of the parasites.
However, because the organism is shed in some stool samples and not others, the
infection may not be discovered using this method. A newer, more accurate method
of diagnosing the condition is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
that detects cysts and antigen in stool, and is approximately 90% accurate.
While slightly more expensive, it only needs to be done once and is therefore
less expensive overall than the earlier test." Generally, Flagyll or
Metronidazole are often used for Giardia, and
repeated again in 2 weeks if the symptoms have not subsided. Many times you will
treat them for Giardia and they are fine on the medication, but once the course
of medicine is done, they usually return to a loose stool. If you use
Panacur wormer for treatment, which I think is a more effective
choice for this problem, take the total dose for the weight of the dog and then
instead of treating the dog for the normal 3 day period, you divide up all the
amount of Panacur powder and divide into doses for use over a 10 day period of
time, to effect the Giardia in the varying stages of growth and
In other words, spread the treatment over 10 days. Once you start the treatment,
at the same time you must follow up with some other things to make the
"GUT" an uninviting place for Giardia to grow once the treatment
is finished. These are the 3 things you need to use ON A DAILY BASIS for
the rest of the life of the dog.
1) - Oxydrops - kills bacteria/fungus/protozoa/virus
but not good bacteria in the gut.
2) - BacPacPlus - Fortified with Yucca - to reestablish
the intestinal flora and a healthy mucosal
lining of the gut which is uninviting to Giardia.
3) - MSM - Nutritional Sulfur - this makes an environment
were Giardia does not like to live and
grow, as stated in the Patent research on MSM
Information about each of these elements:
It is a safe, stable, inorganic, liquid compound that has demonstrated
efficacy as a bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal agent. It operates in two
ways, first it enhances the immune system and second it releases slowly and
oxidizes, cleaning toxins from the body. OXYDROPS acts on the organism at
cellular level with no unwanted side effects. If you are going to use raw meat
in your dogs diet it is very important to use the OXYDROPS, to help prevent any
pathogens and Giardia protozoa.
Use Oxydrops diluted in water, and poured over their food.
(If they are very ill, and will not eat, then take the recommended dosage,
DILUTE IT IN SOME WATER and use a small syringe (minus the needle) and place in
the side of their mouth so they will drink it. Do NOT squirt down their throat
and cause aspiration pneumonia.) It is important to always dilute the OXYDROPS.
Also - if your water source comes from a well, I recommend at least 5 - 10
drops daily to a large bucket of water for decontamination. This will help once
they are cleaned out from the Giardia.
Oxydrops can also be used topically or as a colonic when needed, see guidelines
To order call Stan - 877- 816-6500 Here is their website for more
information about Oxydrops:
Nzymes Oxydrops for Pets and People
Click here: Nzymes Ox-ydrops
Click here: Guidelines for Using Oxy-Drops
2) BacPakPlus Fortified /w Yucca
Then reestablish the intestinal flora of the gut use BacPacPlus -
BacPakPlus-Fortified is 6 beneficial bacteria, digestive enzymes and yucca.
Some of the bacteria in this product is microencapsulated to be released in the
lower intestine for tough to handle intestinal problems such as IBD, Giardia
protozoa, bacterial infection, stress or bloat recovery, loose stool, parvo etc.
When a dog is on antibiotics, they MUST be on Probiotics at the same time and
continue after, to replenish the intestinal flora of the gut. Otherwise
you will get soft stools and opportunistic bad bacteria, such as staph, or
yeast/fungus can start to flourish in the gut.
One pound lasts for many months and it is not cost prohibitive and the
benefits are well worth the use. Breeds that are prone to Bloat/Torsion need
Probiotic cultures in their diet to help keep the pH balance of the gut.
To Order call Rosco Campbell at Sports and Stress Inc. - 800 - 872-0073
3) MSM - Nutritional Sulfur
In the patent (#4,616,039) and research information on MSM, it states the dosage
for treating Giardia to be 500 mg - 3 times a day for two weeks, then continue
with 1000 mg a day to help prevent re-infestation.
To Purchase: You can get it from a health food store or purchase on the
Click here: MSM for Pets by Vita-Flex: Methylsulfonylmethane for small animals.
Hope this information is helpful to you getting a handle on Giardia. Many people
have great success with this program.
Blackwatch Great Dane Kennels est - 1973
Click here: Linda Arndt & Blackwatch Great Danes
* If you ask my opinion or for my assistance on health and feeding issues,
understand my response is not to be used "in lieu of "
and treatment, and should be discussed with your vet for a comprehensive
approach to better health for your pet.