Giardia is a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestines of many domestic and wild animals. The parasite is shed in the feces and can survive in moist areas, particularly stagnant water and animal waste. Giardia attaches to the intestinal lining, damaging the tissue and interfering with the host’s ability to absorb nutrients. If your dog is infected, she may exhibit diarrhea, depression, weight loss, decreased appetite, vomiting, or a combination of these symptoms.
If giardia parasites remain in the host for a long time, they erode the intestinal lining and cause sporadic bloody diarrhea. Left untreated, your Pet may become increasingly debilitated and susceptible to other infections. Because giardia is a zoonotic parasite, there is a risk that it can be transmitted between Pets and humans. People suffering from giardia infection are subject to the same health threats as their Pets.
If your Pet is infected with giardia, your Banfield veterinarian is ready with GiardiaVaxTM and a broad range of antibiotics and dewormers to treat the infection. If diarrhea and vomiting are severe, a special diet and anti-diarrheal and anti-nausea drugs are needed. Banfield recommends routine evaluation of your dog’s fecal samples to help catch infections early.
Cleaning your Pet’s environment is an extremely important part of eliminating giardia, preventing reinfection, and protecting your family.
To further reduce the threat of infection, don’t let your Pet drink from streams or lakes. Bring iodine tablets with you when you camp to treat drinking water, as the iodine kills giardia. Anytime you’re away from home, have fresh, clean water available for your Pet. Keep your yard clean of feces; feces from all animals, including birds, can be sources of infection. Regularly remove animal waste from your yard to help minimize exposure. And remember to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with feces.
Authored by Brent Carroll, DVM
PLEASE NOTE GIARDIA VACCINES DO EXIST. WHILE IT DOES NOT PREVENT GIARDIA IT HELPS WITH THE SHEDDING AND LIMITS ILLNESS FROM IT. Ask you Vet for more info.
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If you are worried about losing your pet, new technology allows for biologically safe microchips to use in the place of, or in addition to the classic dog tags. Microchips are an excellent option for a form of identification, and it is rapidly becoming popular in families throughout the country. Here are a few answers to common questions people might ask in relation to the use of these microchips.
What exactly is a microchip? A microchip is a small device that is comparable in size to a grain of rice. This device has a special identification number that helps animal shelters and local humane societies get in touch with the pet’s owner.
How does this microchip work? As stated earlier, a microchip has a specific I.D. number, which allows shelters and humane societies get in touch with the pet’s owner. The I.D. number is transmitted through an all-purpose handheld scanner, which relays the number to a computer screen. The handheld device transmits radio waves at a frequency of 125 kHz, which is completely safe and non-harmful to your pet. Depending on the brand of the microchip (the two most common brands are AVID and HomeAgain), the animal shelter or humane society will go to the registered microchip databases, and they will either contact you or the microchip company should your pet be found.
Where do they place this microchip? On cats and dogs, the microchip is placed in the fleshy part between the shoulder blades on their back. They cannot feel the microchip, and once it is in, it should give them no problems.
Could my pet have an allergic reaction to a microchip? It is highly unlikely. The microchip is made out of an outer shell of extremely tough glass, and has safe biological contents inside. Because of the way the chip is made, your pet will quickly develop connective tissue that keeps the chip in place.
How is the microchip inserted? The microchip is simply administered like a shot. Though the syringe may be slightly larger than that of a common vaccine shot, it will not hurt any more or any less. Your pet will not react any differently than they would if they were receiving a routine shot. Anesthesia is not necessary, nor is it recommended for this procedure.
What kind of animals can be microchipped? Almost any animal! The most common uses are dogs, cats, birds, horses (other livestock, such as pigs, sheep, or cows), and even fish! Many farmers or animal breeders microchip their animals as an easy form of identification; this takes the place of branding or tagging.
You never know when a natural disaster may befall your area. With hurricane Katrina and earthquakes, many animals have been misplaced and lost their homes. With the aid of a microchip, thousands of pets have been reunited with their loving families. Microchips are safe, beneficial, and the cost is definitely worth the security of knowing your pet has a chance of being found should they become lost.
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The right microchip can make life easier…for people and pets. We recommend the American ‘Standard of Care’ 125 kHz chip as the foundation of a successful program.
Confusion: The recent introduction of chips operating at various different radio frequencies has created quite a bit of confusion. Don’t Worry! Although it seems impossible to sort out, it is really quite simple.
The facts: America has used the 125 kHz system for nearly 20 years. All scanners being used to scan pets today are designed to read the 125 kHz microchip. Additionally, the USDA Pet Microchip Report, states that 80% of these scanners read only the 125 kHz chip and not other frequencies.
Solution: Use only true 125 kHz microchips. All U.S. compliant scanners are designed to read 125 kHz chips. See chart below…
Microchip ID products 125 kHz
Avid Secure Encrypted 125 kHz
Travel Chip 125 kHz
Avid Euro 125 kHz
Destron Fearing 125 kHz
Home Again 125 kHz
Bayer ResQ Chip 134.2 kHz
Datamars 134.2 kHz
AKC Trovan 128 kHz
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