Giardia is a gastrointestinal parasite that can cause certain problems in your dog if left untreated. It is a single-celled parasite and can be found all over the world. Giardia in French bulldogs spread easily through contaminated water, feces, items, and surfaces. It can survive very long in the environment, so that’s why it’s important to take certain measures to prevent your pup from this parasite.
What do I need to know about French bulldogs suffering from Giardia?
The lifecycle of giardia goes through 2 stages. In the first stage, giardia lives in the dog’s small intestines and becomes a cyst. When mature giardia becomes a cyst, it progresses into the infective stage. The dog then releases those infective Giardia cysts through feces into the environment and other dogs can become infected by sniffing the contaminated grass or other surfaces.
The bad fact about giardia is that it can survive up to several weeks in the environment. Therefore, pet owners should be very careful when taking their dogs on strolls and when choosing the environment for training.
How do French bulldogs get giardia?
As we previously mentioned, giardia is highly contagious. Your pooch can get it by drinking water from a contaminated water bowl or even a puddle. Walking on a contaminated surface and then licking the paws will also lead to an infection. Our pooches love to sniff and lick on everything, so even playing with toys or contaminated branches brings risk.
Dogs in shelters, rescues, and small puppies are at a higher risk to get this parasite. It’s because crowded environments are often dirty and difficult to maintain clean all the time.
What are the symptoms of Giardia in French bulldogs?
Giardia in Frenchies can sometimes be difficult to spot. However, dogs who often have diarrhea or occasionally vomit should be tested. When a dog comes in contact with a contaminated item, it usually takes up to two weeks for symptoms to appear. The symptoms include the following:
How to treat Giardia in French bulldogs?
To determine whether your pooch got infected by Giardia, your vet will ask you to take a fecal examination. In most cases, vets recommend performing fecal testing of your dog 3 times. It’s because this parasite is elusive and its cysts are shed only intermittently from the gastrointestinal tract. One fecal example gives 70 % valid results, while 3 fecal examples are 90% valid.
Giardia should be treated with drugs prescribed by your vet. The treatment usually lasts 2 weeks and on the last day of drug-taking, it’s important to bathe the dog. That’s how you’ll remove the cysts of this parasite from his paws and coat. Make sure you do it thoroughly and apply shampoo 3 times on your Frenchie’s coat. You should also wear gloves while bathing your Frenchie and pay special attention to his tail pocket and anus. Those places can keep Giardia’s cysts for a long time if you don’t clean them properly.
Reinfections are common
The treatment can also be repeated because this parasite is very resistant and reinfection is also quite common. Your French bulldog’s bed should also be thoroughly cleaned and sprayed with specific disinfectants. However, make sure they’re safe for your and your dog’s vicinity before application. Besides your dog’s bed, his/her toys should also be washed and disinfected, as well as the bowls for food and water. At the end of the process, make sure to rinse the bowls and toys with boiling water and let them dry.
Both your and your dog’s environment should be thoroughly cleaned, otherwise, the reinfection may occur fast. Performing general hygiene measures is essential if you want to get rid of Giardia permanently.
Can I get Giardia from my Frenchie?
Well, even though this parasite is highly contagious, it can rarely be transmitted to humans. However, infection is not impossible. Giardia is commonly transmitted through water and not by our pets. It can also be present on food and soil, so paying attention to hygiene is highly important.
Although it sounds like an impossible mission to protect your pet from this parasite, you can avoid taking him to crowded dog parks, and fields where many dogs go to the potty. Washing your Frenchie’s paws every time he gets back from a walk can also help, as well as monitoring his activities when spending time outdoors. Your pooch should not share toys, water bowls, and food bowls with other dogs. Besides, teaching him/her not to chew or lick items outside is one of the best measures to protect your pet.