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 Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet

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Luna
Newborn
Newborn
Luna

Female Join date : 2013-09-27
Location : VA

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptySat Nov 23, 2013 5:16 pm

Hi everyone. I just searched the forum for Giardia and read some disturbing information. I still have a couple questions, so decided to open a new topic.

Our Luna (4,5 - almost 5 months old), had already been on two rounds of antibiotcs at 9 & 11 weeks old (the second time she tested negative for Giardia, but continued to have loose stool, so the vet recommended another round to make sure there's nothing left of the parasite in her). This week the vet tested her positive for Giardia again.

Each time (including this one) she's been on Metro (1/2 tablet twice a day first two times and 1 tablet twice a day this time, as well as Panacur - sprinkle kind, I think it's based on weight of the dog). After reading the other threads I'm now a bit freaked out about this drug, alghtough Luna never had any adverse reactions after taking it.

We do pick up after she goes potty, and the mushy poo gets hosed out. Is there anything else I can do outiside cleaning-wise, to make sure she won't pick it up again? She is a poo eater, though we do make sure she doesn't do it on our watch, she goes to day camp, and I know they don't always make it in time to keep the pups from eathing it. So even though we keep Luna at home while in treatment, it's easy for her to get it again at the day camp. We are unfortunately unable to give up on day camp altogether, we can switch working from home for a week or so, but not longer, and she can't stay home alone. At least yet.

Another question what other safer drugs there are to treat Giardia, other than Metro?

And is there anything we can do to make sure she won't pick it up again?

Thanks much in advance for all advice!


Last edited by Luna on Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Javier77
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Newborn
Javier77

Male Join date : 2013-11-02
Location : Madrid

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptySat Nov 23, 2013 6:18 pm

Hi. I was just talking to my vet about parasites today because my pup has some too. His treatment was one dose of Procox. Regarding what you can do, I have been recommended to clean with bleach if he poops in the house and clean at least twice a day his bowls, both food and water. This is specially important if she eats poop, since some of it may end in the water (Even if we can't see) and she will get reinfected for sure. Cleaning up his sleeping place too as much as possible (Mine sleeps in a towel so easy for me). All these treatments just make the dog expel the parasite, but if she eats the poo (Or even lick anywhere near her butt) the cycle will just repeat itself, so at least for the time the treatment is going on I have been told to be extremely vigilant, even if  mine does not eat poo. Maybe you can explain it in the camp and ask them to be ultra careful for some days?
All this said, chatting with the vet she told me that some dogs just can't get rid of it and once they are adults it doesn't even matter. They have the parasite but the stool normalizes and all the problems disappear. It is extremely rare that it won't go away though.
Hope she gets better soon!
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HuskyMom09
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HuskyMom09

Female Join date : 2012-11-01
Location : Spokane WA

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptySat Nov 23, 2013 7:30 pm

Giardia can be a difficult one since it's so easy to reinfect. Once you have it (Yes people can get it too) it never really leaves your system, it takes a much lower exposure to reinfect. You have to bleach poo areas and be diligent in poo removal. Since we run in areas that have stagnant water sources chances of contracting giardia is high- I do twice a year fenbendazole paste (1cc/5lbs) for 5 days. You can pick this up at ranch supply stores, goat wormer.
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Luna
Newborn
Newborn
Luna

Female Join date : 2013-09-27
Location : VA

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyMon Dec 09, 2013 6:01 pm

Thank you both for responding. I appreciate your advice.

HuskyMom - do you use fenbendazole paste to prevent Giardia? Is it safe for puppies (5 m.o.)?
Thanks!

So after another round of Metro, Panacur and pro-biotics Luna tested positive for Giardia once again. I have to keep on putting her on bland-diet to get her poo to normal. I try not to stick to it for too long, as it obviously won't satify Luna's calorie need (she's one skinny pumpkin), but that's the only thing that helps stop diarrhea.

I also got really mad at my vet today. They got Luna's stool sample last Wednesday and usually call me the next day with results. I called every day to inquire about the results, just in case I missed their call. Nothing. Today someone eventually gave me the results. "She's still positive for Giardia and the vet thinks she has some auto-immune issues that keep Giardia to come back, and so she wants to put her on some new meds, so you can come pick them up." - that was all they had to tell me (!) - am I crazy or is that NOT enough information? So I asked the tech to give me more information on those "auto-immune" issues and "new meds" - she only said someome will call me back.

So I have two questions:
- has anyone ever heard of Giardia & auto-immune issues keeping it reappear? or is it some kind of gimmick to put my puppy on more meds, possibly steroids (guilty of googling staff and winding myself up),
- does anyone know a good vet in Leesburg, VA area?

I would greatly appreciate any advice!!!
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HuskyMom09
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HuskyMom09

Female Join date : 2012-11-01
Location : Spokane WA

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyMon Dec 09, 2013 6:26 pm

Fenbendazole is used to deworm puppies as soon as they are able to eat gruel (arround 4 weeks)- to wipe out giardia you need to use it for 5 consecutive days and repeat in 6 months. The hardest will be killing it within the home/yard where the pup is defecating and any place that could have come in contact with particulates. All dog beds, blankets, clean all floors, bleaching where they poo, etc.
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TheBadGuppy
Teenager
Teenager
TheBadGuppy

Female Join date : 2013-06-20
Location : Toronto, Ontario

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyMon Dec 09, 2013 6:48 pm

We have to go through two rounds of giardia meds too. But in our situation, Gus was not allowed to go to daycare until he got the all clear because it would be too easy to infect other dogs, and then re-infect himself again. We had a hard time with this because he had bad separation anxiety at the time. We had no choice though but to keep him at home in an enclosed area, and let him cry all day. We had the dog walker (same people as the daycare) come once a day to take him out for a potty and play. If you can, I would really suggest this instead. I'm actually kind of surprised that your daycare will allow him to go if he has giardia since it is such a highly contagious bug.

On top of all this, we always wiped his feet clean whenever he came back inside, and wiped his bum with baby wipes after every bowel movement. I NEVER let him offleash anywhere just in case he got into another dog's poop. It was a really tough couple weeks!

Because of all this, he is super skinny too, and still has some loose bowel movements. We are still working on this and trying to figure out food allergies, etc. We also have him on probiotics to help with his tummy. He is slowly starting to gain weight again. Our vet had him on fenbenazole for the first round (5 days). The second round of meds, he put him on metronidazole AND fenbenazole (7 days). Both times, he was also given Tylosin to help with diarrhea. And after the last dose of each round of medicine, we retested after 3 weeks. Our vet said it takes that long to see if the cycle was killed off.

If you're not comfortable with your vet, or just don't feel like you're getting the attention that you deserve, then i would definitely look to get a second opinion.
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Luna
Newborn
Newborn
Luna

Female Join date : 2013-09-27
Location : VA

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyMon Dec 09, 2013 7:38 pm

Thanks again! And just to clarify - each time Luna was on the medication, she was at home with either me or my husband. After the first round (at 2 m.o.) - she got back to day camp after she was re-tested and tested negative for Giardia (she still got one more round of medicine, just in case). She was back tested positive about two weeks ago, so I assumed she caught it from one of the puppies there. Then she was back at home with us for another round of meds. The issue I had was for her not getting re-infected at the day camp from other dogs, while we can't stay at home every day. We also can't leave her alone - she does have pretty crazy anxiety issues. She soils the crate within first 30 min. of us leaving the house. I wouldn't be able to put our dog walker (she sometimes takes care of our other dog) through the ordeal of cleaning the puppy, the create and the whole craziness..

I will definitely ask the vet about fenbenazole. And may switch to towels for her crate - we do wash her blankets regularly, but maybe washing doesn't get rid of all the bacteria? Towels sound like they would be much easier to keep clean. I also am unable to do much more - in the yard - to clean up after her other than pick the poo up and hose down whatever's left. It's a grassy yard. She's never off leash either, so she definitely is not picking Giardia up on walks.
I will also pick up some baby wipes - this does sound like a good idea. Smile

I did read that some puppies develop immunity to Giardia by themselves, without meds. If the meds are not really working for her, would it be a good idea to try and keep her at home for a while, then retest her and see if she "spontanously" gets better by herself? I am really not happy about putting this baby on even more meds..

Thank you so much again!
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Rocio_Caballero
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Rocio_Caballero

Male Join date : 2012-06-19
Location : New Mexcio | Germany

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyMon Dec 09, 2013 7:44 pm

This is really unfortunate to hear.

Have you found out any more about the auto-immune disorders? Lycus was anemic earlier this year, and the vet told me he had an auto-immune disorder. His own immune system was basically working against him and had to be on some strong steroids called Prednisone for about a month. I did my research on that as well and it's a pretty scary steroid but in the end, it did save my pup.

I would really look into what your vet is trying to keep giving you and ask A LOT of questions.

Good luck with getting Luna better!
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Luna
Newborn
Newborn
Luna

Female Join date : 2013-09-27
Location : VA

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyTue Dec 10, 2013 12:10 pm

Thanks Rocio! Smile

I did make a point of getting my questions answered today. I also did more reading. I found out that if Giardia keeps coming back it means the pup's immunity is weak and she should be on probiotics and some meds improving her immunity and improving the lining of the smaller intestine. Also, Metro is really not recommended for prolonged/repeated use, as for once - if it proves ineffective - continuing on it is just a waste of money and puppy's health, and second - it is a strong drug and can lead to even more serious health problems, if used frequently.
It also turned out that that's exactly what the vet meant - she thought Luna's immunity is not strong enough to cope with Giardia. She wants to put her on meds boosting the immunity. Then she also wants to give her probiotics. Then the tech said they also want to do another round of Metro. Here I was upfront and told her that since Luna had already been on three rounds of Metro and I'm worried about putting her on it again. Then I asked about fenbenazole - apparently it's another name for Pancur. We agreed on putting her on Panacur only and repeat treatment in two weeks, re-test in three weeks. And we'll continue the immunity meds and probiotics for a couple of months, as a form of possible prevention for Luna from getting re-infected.

I also have two more questions and hoping someone may be able to help me. I've been reading on some natural ways of helping cope with Giardia, and came across: Blackleaf to fight Giardia, MSM - nutritional sulfur - Giardia doesn't like to live where MSM is, and micro-minerals (Spark of Life) that are lost with diarrhea. Has anyone heard of them, used them, knows if they help? I'll be grateful for any advice.

So all in all.. it is definitely good to do your own research, ask a lot of question (like Rocio said), and actually discuss with the vet the best approach. I hope all the above may help someone else dealing with reoccuring Giardia.

I'll update the thread once we can see the effects of this round of meds.
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TheBadGuppy
Teenager
Teenager
TheBadGuppy

Female Join date : 2013-06-20
Location : Toronto, Ontario

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyTue Dec 10, 2013 12:15 pm

Good luck! I hope she feels better soon! I think all the meds that Gus was put on really messed up his digestive system! To this day, we are still dealing with some loose bowel movements. But i think that is largely due to food intolerances. Not sure if that has anything to do with the meds though... We are also giving probiotics. Again, not sure if that is helping since his bowel movements seem to be kind of inconsistent, but then again, he sometimes steals food he shouldn't be eating!
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siku&nikolai
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siku&nikolai

Female Join date : 2013-06-17
Location : Maine

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyTue Dec 10, 2013 12:21 pm

I would keep her home and do everything that they mentioned above until its completely gone and clear some how. Then I would maybe recommend switching daycare's? It seems little crazy to me, even if her immune system is weak from the medication and the Giardia, I find it weird that she is so easily able to pick it up again from the daycare, even though she test negative before. I know you mentioned the eating the poop, but I find it weird that she would be able to get it again unless a lot of the other dogs have it constantly.

I don't know if that's a possibility or anything, but that would be my first thought once you get her cleared up again, and see if that helps her completely get over it and have it stay gone.

Sorry I don't have any answers the questions above, my puppy only got it once and luckily it cleared. I'm sorry, I can't imagine having to deal with her getting it constantly.
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HuskyMom09
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HuskyMom09

Female Join date : 2012-11-01
Location : Spokane WA

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyTue Dec 10, 2013 12:54 pm

Giardia can be really difficult to get rid of especially if there is a source that isn't being cleaned up after. It kinda sounds like maybe this daycare isn't doing their due diligence and keeping their facility clean enough. That in itself is concerning, what else could be picked up in an environment such as this! I agree with others, perhaps it's time to find an alternative day care solution.

Giardia is also one of those evil parasites that we never truly get rid of once we have it, it just goes dormant within our system so re-infection is much easier, as it only takes far less of an exposure to re-awaken the parasite and cause full recurrence. I contracted Giardia as a child from a mountain stream I was swimming in, pure misery...several years later I came into indirect contact with a poopy paw from an infected dog, the next day pure misery it was back.

What you and the daycare needs to know- Giardia survives in the environment for weeks to months even if not properly cleaned. In soil the parasite can survive an astonishing 1-7 weeks. If the environment is cooler and damp that can extend it's life to months (cold water source survival is 3 months). So you can see where this could be a major problem if it's not being tended to quickly and diligently. Cleaning/disinfecting should be a daily routine especially with actively sick animals and dogs on medication for symptoms. Bathe the dog and all other household pets once through treatment to ensure no spores are left in the coat. Hard surfaces need to be bleached, carpet will need to be steam cleaned, toys/bowls run through the dishwasher daily, beds/blankets need to be machine washed and dried on the hottest setting or air dried in direct sunlight.
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Luna
Newborn
Newborn
Luna

Female Join date : 2013-09-27
Location : VA

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyTue Dec 10, 2013 12:58 pm

To Maggie - I believe Luna also has food intolerances, we switched her kibble twice since we got her and we make sure anything she eats is grain-free. She's been doing pretty good on Blue Buffalo for puppies and we thought this may be it (even though she would still occasionaly have a soft stool), but are now once again thinking of the Taste of the Wild. Right now, though, we do have to focus first on getting rid of Giardia before we think of switching. And Luna also eats everything, bugs, slugs, plants, bushes, flowers, dirt etc. and we're not always fast enough to get it out of her mouth..

To Erica - yes, we're planning on sitting through this round of treatment. I do hope it doesn't end up in either of us having to look for a new job. As to switching day camp - we were thinking about it before, as the day camp we use now adds about 40 min. to our commute. Unfortunately, day cares around us are realy boarding facilities, allowing for 20 min. play time with other dogs twice a day. And as I said before - Luna is a troublesome puppy when it comes to crating. The day camp we're using right now allows for all puppies to play and rest whenever they feel like it, no crating. And that worked great for Luna.
Now, I don't think it's necessarily their fault that Luna got re-infected. They do their best to prevent dogs from eating each other's poo, but occassionally one slips (they have web cams, that's how I know).. and since Luna is in the smaller dogs and puppies group - and puppies often are the culprits - and puppies get Giardia more often than grown-up dogs, the chance of her catching it are just naturally higher. And I think it just take one puppy, whose owners don't notice the loose stool in time, and really just one lick.. it's not necessary to have a general outbreak, since her immunity is compromised.
We may still think of changing the day care at one point, if we can figure out the crating issue.
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siku&nikolai
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siku&nikolai

Female Join date : 2013-06-17
Location : Maine

Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet Empty
PostSubject: Re: Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet   Giardia won't go away, auto-immune issues and I think I need a new vet EmptyTue Dec 10, 2013 1:10 pm

That makes complete sense. I saw your profile picture and knew she was small but I forgot that she would be playing with the puppies at daycare, when mine went luckily no puppies and just small adult dogs, so I forget its not the same elsewhere. How much does she weigh? Would they ever consider bumping her up from the puppy to the adults so you can continue to go? I know that depends on age and play type but then she would be less likely to come across it.
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