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November 4th, 2003, 05:53 PM
has anybody heard of this virus?? Giadria. A neighbors dog had this and is said to very contagious. Now another neighbor's pup has blood in her urine, and i am worried about my pets picking this up?? any knowledge on this would be very helpful. Thanks

November 4th, 2003, 06:10 PM
Dear Vega,
I think you are talking about Giardia?? If you are, then I can fill you in on some details. It's not a virus but a protozoan parasite. Firstly, it can also infect humans as well as dogs. It's usually picked up by humans in infected drinking water. In dogs it is highly contagious and is passed on through the dogs picking up the cysts (eggs) deposited in other infected dogs faeces, and also like humans, through drinking water. Giardia infections afect the lower guts and most cases don't present any clinical symptoms. If symptoms are present they are usually diarrhea of varying severity and duration and some dogs may lose weight and exhibit a poor condition. It is a very common infection in dogs. It's easily treated with metronidazole (antibiotic) or albendazole (anthelminthic) although I'm not sure about the licensing laws for the later.
Of note, the puppy with the blood in the urine...I do not think this is connected with the Giardia infection as Giardia parasites live in the gut and wouldn't affect the bladder. Pups can cope with Giardia infections quite well. Your neighbours pup sounds as if it may have cystitis or a urinary tract infection.
Lastly, don't worry if your dogs do pick it up, it's not life-threatening.
Hope this helps.