Giardia intestinalis and Giardia duodenalis are single celled protozoan parasites, which inhabit the affected dog’s small intestine, causing clinical signs of Gardiasis. The protozoa attach themselves to the intestines and multiply. They may be directly swept through the intestines and appear in the infected dog’s faeces or they may develop into a tougher more durable ‘cyst’ form, which is again passed in the dogs faeces but is able to survive for long periods in the external environment. Dogs are infected by ingesting the cysts from contaminated water and the environment. Infected dogs may not show any clinical signs of Gardiasis, but they can still shed the protozoa from their systems, spreading the infection to other healthy animals. Infection and subsequent illness is more commonly seen in younger animals. Signs of infection include: chronic or intermittent diarrhoea that may appear ‘fatty’ and slimy, accompanied by a very foul smell. Weight loss is also possible if left untreated.
When it is time to sleep, does your dog pick a comfy spot and drift carefree into his dreams of chasing squirrels or eating bacon? A happy, relaxed dog will sleep well. Stressed dogs wake up, get up, pick a new spot, fall asleep and then repeat. They are not relaxed enough to get into a deep sleep, which could cause health troubles. Talk to a vet and/or a dog trainer about how to get your dog relaxed and happy so he can sleep well.