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#164706 - 06/29/11 04:28 AM Giardia... at my wits end
Diogy Pup Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 24
Loc: Seattle WA
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Hi Im new here. I have an 8 month GSD and he is on his second round of Giardia medication. Metro and Panacur. He also had roundworms, but the second fecal test came up clean from worms, but still with Giardia. The first round of medicine was easier to feed him, but he is so tired of it. We got him at 4 months old and he had solid poop, but slept like 18-20 hours a day, the breeder said that was normal for the breed and not to worry. I noticed Diarrhea a few days after bringing him home and I called the breeder and they said it was just stress and he needs a few days to adjust. The poop never hardened. a few months go by and I couldn't just think this was normal. We were taking him camping and on road trips, so i kept telling myself he just needed to adjust and he'd get used to it. I decided to go get him a fecal test done. They told me he had Real bad Giardia 4 plus cysts per sample which they said was a severe case and Roundworms. We got him on meds ASAP and this is where we are now.

The medicine is very bitter and My dog refuses to eat it, he smells it in anything I try to hide it in. I put it in pill pockets, in his food, we tried shoving it down his throat, he refuses to swallow. I have finally managed to get him to eat it by crunching the pill up into a powder then mixing it with cottage cheese... I dont know if this is even a good idea. I read on the internet not to crunch it cause it can get absorbed too fast or mess with the time release. I have tried asking my vet and they just say keep trying. Do any of you have any tricks? He is on his 3rd week of Metro and he is SICK of it. His appetite is still small, still has very runny poop and gas. Some days he is very playful, but other days he just wants to sleep all day and all night. He gets very depressed if I go to work and he wont touch his food or water if Im gone. I only work 2 days a week because Im a stay at home mom, but he needs to eat even if Im not around.

His diet is Avoderm Lg puppy chx and rice formula (which is what the breeder Von Walberg GSD's told us to feed him) and I mix in cans of wet to try to get him to eat. The wet food worked great at first, but now he seems to be bored with that too. Since he has been sick he got too thin and refused to eat so we gave him canned with the kibbles and he gained 6 pounds in 2 weeks, but now he seems to be loosing again. I think he is bored with the food, cause he will devour his jerky or non-pill treats and he loves hotdogs... but I know he cant live on that!

I have read Giardia is very tricky to get rid of, but I worry about his intestines and his overall health. The vet said maybe a 3rd round might be necessary? This is getting very expensive! If he is this stubborn now, I cant imagine another 2 weeks of 500 mg 2 x a day and 5 days of Panacur.... I asked the vet abut probiotics, but they said its not necessary.. Im really into nutrition and it seems like they are not to worried about health and balance to promote healing from the parasites and antibiotics and dewormer... I know he is not human, but doesn't the digestive system kinda work the same? Don't antibiotics mess up the good bacteria in theory and need to be replenished and balanced out?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Im a new dog owner and I want him to be happy and healthy! Any advice or experience is greatly appreciated.

~Dierdre


Edited by MaxaLisa (07/02/11 07:58 PM)
Edit Reason: put in paragraphs, guessing this was posted on a phone that doesn't do paragraph breaks well!
_________________________
Diogy's Mom~

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#164714 - 06/29/11 08:38 AM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: Diogy Pup]
LauraHolder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/10
Posts: 1433
Loc: Southeastern Wisconsin
Likes: 12
I feel your pain. My boy, Oscar, battled giardia when he was about the same age as your pup and it took a good 3 or 4 treatments to nail in the butt. He started to loose weight as well and ended up having SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) so we had to treat that after the giardia was under control. And, yes, it can get expensive, but we do what we have to for our pups. smile

It's frustrating, but I would NOT listen to the advice from your vet about probiotics. Absolutely add in probiotics to your daily regimine. Give them with food and give them at least 2-3 hours after any type of wormer or antibiotic. So, if you are doing the Metro 2x a day, try to feed a small mid-day meal with some probiotics mixed in...or a meal before bedtime would work too. Start with 1/2 a dose and build up from there.

There are several others on the board who have experience with giardia, so stay tuned for more advise. smile
_________________________
Laura Holder, CPDT-KA

The Fur-Kids:
Fanny, GSD, Rescued 2002
DOB circa December 1999
Shylo's "Oscar" Million, CGC
DOB 11/3/2009

http://holistic-canine.blogspot.com/

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#164721 - 06/29/11 09:14 AM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: LauraHolder]
Woodreb Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 5375
Loc: New Milford, CT
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I second giving him probiotics since he is taking so much antibiotic right now.

Ruth would certainly know better than I do - but slippery elm is supposed to help heal the gut. It won't help the giardia but might make him feel more like eating so he doesn't lose any more weight.

If it were me, I would also take him off kibble right now and feed him a bland diet of chicken or ground beef (well drained of grease) and rice.

If he loves hot dogs can you hide the meds in the hot dogs? I do that for mine and that usually works well.
_________________________
Johanna

Caleb (aka Caleb-Moose)
Ciara(aka Ciara Belle, Black Devil)

RIP Aodhán, Rica, Max, Kelly - gone but never forgotten - forever in my heart

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#164725 - 06/29/11 09:28 AM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: LauraHolder]
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11662
Loc: McAlester, OK
Likes: 240
Dierdre,

My baby came home from the breeders with a bad case of Giardia as well. He also had Coccidiosis. The runny poo started the day after we bought him home and we too thought it was just travelling stress and let it ride. He had his first vet visit 2 days after coming home and the vet agreed - just stress. Puppes do stress when they go to forever homes.

But 4 months is no longer stress. Giardia is hard to get rid of. Panacur is nasty. We also ground pills and used a lot of stinky fishy canned food to get it into him. I would keep doing this and DO add a probiotic, it will help his tummy. You can even add some plain yogurt, it has some priobios in it and should taste good to him.

All I can offer as this should eventually pass.

Things to consider:

1. Have him checked for Coccidia too.

2. If this does not resolve in the next nonth or so, consider SIBO. Sometimes constant tummy issues can lead to overgrowth in the bacteria in the small intestine. (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). Probiotics will help prevent this and will be part of the treatment if it happens and it may already be a problem for Diogy.

3. EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), although EPI is not common in dogs this young, it is something to rule out down the road if this continues.

4. Allergies or food intolerance.

After we got through the Giardia, Coccidiosis and SIBO with Havoc we went to the EPI test which thank goodness was negative. When it came down to it, he has food intolerances and environmental allergies. He cannot eat dairy, beef, lamb, rice, wheat, soy, corn and several other grains. He can handle some oat and barley. I just avoid grain and stick to a high quality grain free kibble that is either chicken, turkey, duck or fish based. He gets probiotics and 95% of the time his poop is good. It took me 2 years to get there and find a good daerm vet that helped us through the process.

There are several herbs you can try to calm the gut an maybe some of the experts in that will jump in here. I would find a bland diet for now to help ease the load on his tummy. MAybe lwo fat content ground beef and that will also help with the meds nasty taste.

No reflection on your breeder this stuff just happens I think.
_________________________
Kathy

PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo

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#164727 - 06/29/11 09:35 AM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: Kayos]
JeanKBBMMMAAN Offline
Rescues Rule Admin

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 4618
Likes: 165
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/giardia.html is a good giardia article, talks about bathing the dog because the spores attach to the coat. I cannot tell you how grossed out I was picking up my foster pups, imagining those spores sticking to me!

In that article they recommend Panacur, and it does not seem that the Metro is as effective so I would ask not to use that as it can cause some negatives that may be impacting your dog. http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-c...rinary-use.html

Kathy has all the other stuff I would say smile and I would definitely do a probiotic.

Welcome! Thanks for taking good care of your puppy.
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#164734 - 06/29/11 10:16 AM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: JeanKBBMMMAAN]
Schnickle Fritz Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 3129
Loc: Fairfield, Ca.
Likes: 79
great article.
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Have a great day!!!
NLS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fritz vom Banach TR1 TT RN RA BN NW1 BH 10/10/09
Cuvee' d' la Maze ORT-BCA BH 01/14/11
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#164745 - 06/29/11 11:26 AM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: JeanKBBMMMAAN]
LauraHolder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/10
Posts: 1433
Loc: Southeastern Wisconsin
Likes: 12
Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/giardia.html is a good giardia article, talks about bathing the dog because the spores attach to the coat. I cannot tell you how grossed out I was picking up my foster pups, imagining those spores sticking to me!


YES! Some might think it is gross, but we started wiping both of our dogs' butts every day with baby wipes when we were trying to get rid of giardia. They both got a really good bath before we started to do this.
_________________________
Laura Holder, CPDT-KA

The Fur-Kids:
Fanny, GSD, Rescued 2002
DOB circa December 1999
Shylo's "Oscar" Million, CGC
DOB 11/3/2009

http://holistic-canine.blogspot.com/

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#164754 - 06/29/11 12:29 PM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: Schnickle Fritz]
proudshepmom Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/12/10
Posts: 1187
Likes: 11
(A long time passed between when I started this post and when I finally finished it, so people may have chimed in with the same things I am about to say. Sorry if I am repeating stuff)

I am so sorry! I wrote a post just like this last year - wait - make that MANY posts about my dog and her giardia. You are definitely not alone!

I second the suggestion to take your pup off kibble and go to a bland diet, overcooked rice and ground meat. I would start with turkey since it has very little fat (unless he has been intolerant of turkey) and stick with that for a little while. We're talking more than a couple of days, too. My dog was on the bland diet for a few weeks. You don't want to feed that indefinitely, but for now it might help firm up his poops. You can even add a bit of canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just plain canned pumpkin) if he likes that. And plain yogurt, if you can make the yogurt that would be great, because you can control what goes into it.

I don't know anything about the food you're feeding him, but I would recommend a grain free food. If that food is, then great! We thought we were feeding our dog a decent food but it wasn't totally grain free and we had much better luck with her once we switched her to GF. Your boy might have a really sensitive stomach in addition to his giardia issues.

Another thing to consider is it's possible that the medications he's taking might be making him sick as well. My dog was not herself while on metro. At first when I read accounts of it making dogs sick, I didn't really believe them (newbie mistake). My dog was lethargic, depressed, anxious, and just generally messed up on the metro, and the vet didn't believe me. I took her off it and she improved right away.

One more thing - as I'm sure you've heard, giardia is tough to get rid of because dogs tend to re-infect themselves. You need to be picking up the poop as best you can as soon as it hits the ground, and disinfect the area as best you can. I used a bleach solution in my backyard. Yes, it killed the grass, but it must have also killed the bugs. Also, I would give the puppy a really good bath now that he's in the middle of treatment to make sure no spores are hanging on to him right now. My back yard as a mess for a while last year - first with horrible icky, impossibly to pick up pudding poo, and then bleach spots in the grass everywhere.

It's fine now wink

Good luck!

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#164772 - 06/29/11 01:48 PM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: proudshepmom]
Diogy Pup Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 24
Loc: Seattle WA
Likes: 0
Thank you everyone! This is so amazing! So helpful!
I will start to clean his bum more, we have two young boys so we have LOTS of baby wipes handy. I am going to start him on Probiotics today and give him a blan diet.
I was encouraged to hear others have gone through this and now things are better. WHEW! There's a light at the end of the tunnel!
Its frustrating to deal with vets, I feel like they are just so quick to write a prescription and look into any more healthy alternatives.
Diogy is very witty and I can't slip a pill into anything anymore. I've tried hotdogs, cheese, pill pockets... He bites it in half, spits out the pill and eats the food. Too smart. Smashing it works wonders and mixing it with cottage cheese or yogurt. Then I give him some food to help with the digestion. (if he'll eat it).
Kathy, thank you for saying this has no reflection on the breeder. My husband wants someone to blame and he is trying to blame the breeder. Also I was wondering if it could be other stuff, I am a firm believer if one part of the body is sick it will affect other parts. Im glad you mentioned other possibilities so I can tell the vet what to test for instead of the other way around.
Jean, thank you for that article, during nap time for the boys today, I will read it!
Laura, Im glad Oscar is doing better, it helps me see that Diogy can be healthy still! Just got to get through this.
Proud Shep mom, Yes I have noticed the meds making him act different. Very lethargic and lazy. no appetite and the poop actually seems runnier on the meds the when he wasnt on them..
This website is such a relief having you all help me and give your experiences! I cannot thank you enough!! Diogy is like one of my kids now and I can't let him suffer.
I will post pictures, I will investigate how to do that.. (:
_________________________
Diogy's Mom~

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#164782 - 06/29/11 02:50 PM Re: Giardia... at my wits end [Re: Diogy Pup]
proudshepmom Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/12/10
Posts: 1187
Likes: 11
Those metro pills are particularly disgusting, and are difficult to hide! The only way I could get Ember to take them was by crushing them and hiding them in canned food. I found a website with stories of people's personal experiences with metro (it is used in humans too) and they were JUST like what was going on with my dog. Peopel reported experiencing lack of appetite, paranoia, anxiety, lethargy...it sounds like an awful drug to be on.

Her poops did seem worse when she was on it, so I hope Diogy's get better when he is done with his course. I would say that with Giardia, you have to work just as hard at preventing reinfestation as treating it in the first place. It can be quite the cycle. Trying to disinfect every spot my dog left her fun pudding presents was not fun, but it was worth it. Keeping my young kids from picking it up from her was one of my primary concerns as well.

If you go with the bland diet, I'm not sure how much you should feed him as I am not familiar at all with feeding a puppy. I would feed that to him until you are getting nice poops for several days in a row and he is finished with his treatment. At that point I slowly started to mix kibble back in, and I really mean slowly. This isn't like you mix half and half one day and then all kibble the next. Over the course of a week or so I started sustituting more and more of the meat/rice mix with kibble. Don't just add kibble to it without taking something away, too much food at once will give them the runs too. Take it easy, and don't rush it.

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