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Between December 2014 and May 2015 Sasha was fostered in a family that had multiple dogs. We adopted Sasha May 2015.


It turnes out one of the dogs at her previous foster home has giardia. Sasha visited her foster home for an afternoon 2 months ago. Sasha played with some of the dogs a month ago at the dog park. The dog with Giardia visited us 2 weeks ago (the dog had diarrhea at the time but they didn't know it was Giardia). 2 other dogs from the same foster home visited us twice last week.


If I understand correctly there are 2 forms of Giardia: active form (not very contagious) and the inactive form (very contagious).

The dog that already has Giardia has the inactive form.


Sasha has no diarrhea and seems to be in perfect health.

The vet of the dog with Giardia says we should test Sasha to see if she has Giardia too. Because she has no diarrhea, she probably doesn't have the inactive form, but could have the active form, which eventually could develop into the inactive form. The foster family sounded a little worried, and explained that if a dog has the inactive form, it's not easy to ger rid of, you have to do lots of cleaning, avoid other dogs etc.


We just called our vet. They told us we could deworm Sasha, or wait to see if she gets diarrhea. We could also test Sasha for Giardia, but they didn't sound very convinced.


So it seems like our own vet is not worried, while the vet of the other dog is very worried. Should we test Sasha just to be sure? Is Giardia a severe disease or can we just wait until she might get symptoms?

Anne, Sasha & Tapas. Spriet (2002-2015), Tibbie (2000-2015) and Gunda (1996-2009)



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Giardia is typically not severe in healthy, adult dogs if treated. There's no harm in testing her. Why not just go ahead and drop off a stool sample so you know? It's very possible you can get a false negative, but if she's asymptomatic and her fecal is negative I probably wouldn't worry too much. If she's positive, you can treat to be safe. Giardia is transmitted through feces so it's possible she didn't get it. Do you or the foster parent have a yard that the dogs shared when all of this was going on?


ETA: I think the jury is out on a definitive answer, but there is some thought that it may be transmittable to humans so that's another reason to have her tested to be safe.

Edited by NeylasMom


Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Giardia is usually not serious, and often doesn't show up in tests. I would do as Jen suggested, do a test, if it is negative and she has no symptoms, just keep it in the back of your mind if later she has loose stools. If she does have it, it can take a couple of rounds of treatment to get rid of it.


I wanted to add, we think Fletcher got it from eating feral cat poop (yuck!) but my other dog never got it from him.

Edited by Remolacha
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Ryder had Giardia unbeknownst to me when we first got him. His poops were actually OK...not pudding or anything, but I figured they were soft because of the whole adoption/newness experience. I think it was about a month before I got him wellness tested. We were sent home with some meds (it was just a liquid to administer orally for a week), and I think I had to give them to Kasey too as a precaution because it could be contagious. That is if a dog stepped in poop and then later licked it off to clean his paw, cuz ya never know. I refrained from visiting any other dogs, and I picked up what I could on our walks and avoided walking in the same area for a week while he was on his meds. Easy peasy, it was gone after one course of treatment.


A poop sample is relatively inexpensive and would give you some piece of mind, and if it is the contagious kind you could avoid further spreading, especially in a multiple dog household. I say this because I couldn't detect it with Ryder and was surprised when they told me he had it, but really it was easy to take care of.

Edited by XTRAWLD

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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One of my cats arrived from his breeder with it. My vet didn't bother testing my other animals--just treated them. I also didn't have to do any special cleaning, and it seemed to resolve after one course of treatment.


Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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