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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 proliferation.
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 below.

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 - Fortified.
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  internet.
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.

Linda Arndt
Canine Advisor
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 " veterinarian advise
 and treatment, and should be discussed with your vet for a comprehensive
 approach to better health for your pet.