Health - Parasites and Organisms

Children run the greatest risk of infection because they are prone to play in the dirt at the
park and playground. They then put their hands in their mouths or rub their eyes. Even teens or adults playing Frisbee, football, soccer etc. in an open area could be in danger. Parasitic infections can make humans sick and for pregnant women- can pose a danger to their unborn child.
How do dogs get Giardia?

Giardia, also known as Giardia intestinalis, G.duodenalis, and G.lambia, is a common intestinal parasite that affects not only dogs but also cats and humans. Dogs can contract Giardia from coming in contact with infected feces or contaminated surfaces or bodies of water and then swallowing the parasite.

Can people get Giardia from dogs?

Giardia can infect humans. The clinical signs are similar to those reported for dogs. We do not know the significance companion animals serve as a source of infection for humans. Until it has been proven otherwise, we should assume that Giardia can be transmitted from one animal to another and from other animals to humans.

How can I know when my dog has Giardia?

Symptoms in dogs include diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and abdominal discomfort, although dogs may be infected with Giardia and not show any symptoms. Younger dogs are more likely to contract Giardia. If you suspect that your dog has become infected, especially if your dog is suffering from excessive diarrhea, contact your veterinarian.

What are Whipworms?

The whipworm is one of the four most common intestinal parasites of dogs. Whipworms reside in the cecum, which is inside your dog’s body where the small intestine and large intestine meet.

Dogs become infected with whipworms by swallowing infective whipworm eggs in soil or other substances that may contain dog feces.

How did my dog get whipworms?

Whipworms pass microscopic eggs in the stool. The eggs are very resistant to drying and heat, so they can remain viable in the dog's environment for years. They mature and are able to reinfect the dog in 10-60 days. The eggs are swallowed and return to the lower intestinal tract to complete the life cycle.

How do I prevent my dog from getting whipworms?