I recently rescued a puppy who is a survivor of parvo, he is the only one out of 5 of his siblings that survived. He is currently 5 months old and 9.7 lbs, yorkie poodle mix, and has been diagnosed with giardia about 3 weeks ago. They prescribed him a round of panacur, followed by a round of flagyl, both of which he completed. They also insisted on feeding him Hills I/D prescription diet (sensitive) Rice & Egg formula. None of this seems to be working. His stool is mushy and greasy looking (no chunks of mucus like it was originally), he has shown a huge increase in shedding, and seems to be very itchy and biting his paws on occasion. They now have prescribed him another round of flagyl (metronidazole, 100mg). I am at a loss, I typically take a more balanced approach between holistic and western medicine for both myself and my dog. But the vet seems adamant about staying on track with this food and medication. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am convinced the food has worsened the condition of his stool but i am also bias as I only give my dogs USA “human grade” premium foods, I also used to cook my previous dogs food (of course mixing it with a number of plant based supplements). Either way, I really am not sure what to do, I am so scared my little puppy is going to worsen, he has been through so much already, any input is greatly appreciated!
Also, we do have him on a probiotic called Synacore Digestive Support (Van Beek is the brand) + a chewable digestive enzyme (which also has a probiotic in it) the brand is NaturVet.
I would do another round of panacur as well. Giardia is becoming resistant to Metronidazole these days. If my dogs get it, I give them five days of panacur followed by another five days 10 days later. Is the Rx food high in fiber? Fiber along with a very healthy gut helps the cause also. I’d keep him on it. Garlic is a controversial remedy, but I feel the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to Giardia.
That poor pup. He’s a survivor though and he’ll beat this. Please report back on how the little guy is doing. Best wishes!SusanMember
Hi, go with your heart & change diet, sounds like food sensitivities with the itchy skin & licking paws… With greasy poos it’s normally a sign of too much fat in diet, what is the fat % in the vet diet he’s eating?? don’t feed any tin or cooked foods with boiled rice, my boy has IBD & cant eat boiled rice, I’d start either cooking a bland diet with potato & a protein with omega 3 6 & 9 oil or a kibble like “California Natural” Lamb & Rice, it has just 3 ingredients, rice in a kibble is grinded, where in wet tin or cooked meal boiled rice is pieces of rice that can irritate the bowel, your boy will probably continue to have a sensitive bowel now, every dog owner I’ve spoken with where their dog has had Parvo & survived now has a very sensitive stomach/bowel…
Change diet until you find foods he isn’t sensitive too & I’d do another round of Metronidazole (Flagyl) … was he on Metronidazole for 28days?? I’d stop the Digestive Enzymes, stop everything & start again with a healthy diet & just the Flagyl… Less is best sometimes.. http://www.californianaturalpet.com/products
Thank you so much for your response. AS for the fat % in the vet food, it says “Crude Fat Min. 13.0%”.
This is my thinking… his gut is one big swamp due to the effects of parvo (I assume he must have something similar to SIBO as he shows many of the signs). Now, in this swamp he has nasty parasites (giardia) eating away at his already vulnerable gut. This being said, after much research this is what I was thinking of going, but am nervous as none of these remedies are FDA approved for dogs (i of course will check with his vet but i find that many times hearing other pet owner’s experience is much more beneficial as every dog is different).
PLAN OF ACTION:
-take him off the vet food. Cook him organic, no antibiotic/hormones, vegetarian fed (aka the best of the best) chicken + sweet potato + carrots (i heard carrots help with a dogs digestive system).
-now for the basic supplements any puppy or dog would need in his food, I would mix in: seaweed plant based calcium powder ( https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Essentials-JX0001-Seaweed-Calcium/dp/B0002AAO2M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472224097&sr=8-1&keywords=seaweed+calcium+pet ), and Multi-vitamin – this vitamin contains small bits of garlic and yucca which could help his intestinal problems ( https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Essentials-Herbal-Multi-Vitamin-Dogs/dp/B010F36XRK/ref=pd_sim_468_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=7T75QBGRD5NZPA4GD5AJ )
-now for fighting off the giardia, building his immune system, and dealing with the aftermath of the parvo, I would add the following to his homemade food: goldenseal, echinacea, grapefruit seed extract, and slippery elm. (here is the article I read that suggested these items: http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com/2012/04/diarrhea-in-dogs-puppies-cats-kittens.html )
Once again, these are all things I will consult his vet with, but as i mentioned many times vets are VERY quick to prescribed whatever drug/prescription food they are “encouraged” to push just as doctors do with FDA approved drugs 🙂 I simply like to keep a balance is all.
Any input!? Thanks again for all your wonderful help!
The fiber content in his rx food is “Crude Fiber Max. 2.0%”. Also, any input on my response to Susan with regard to the homemade food + supplements I was thinking of giving him?
All of your support and input is so greatly appreciated!
I think you should consider consulting a Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist if you feel your veterinarian has not been helpful, otherwise I would go by his recommendations.
Supplements are not medication, often they can cause harm. They tend to be expensive, the same money could be spent on getting professional treatment, a correct diagnosis and effective treatment.
PS: I would be very leery to take advice from anonymous strangers on the internet that may or may not have a medical background before listening to a veterinarian that has examined the dog and knows it’s history.
100% agree, as I stated all of this will be thoroughly discussed with his vet. But i think it is smart to also explore other options and hear opinions of other dog owners who may have experience the same thing. I don’t feel secure in just one persons advice, I appreciate a multitude of answers which can then help me evaluate what is the absolute best solution. 🙂
Giardia is a protozoan parasite that can infect the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and is capable of causing diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lethargy — although many infected animals show no signs at all. It is common throughout the United States and can cause infections at almost any time of year. Unlike many other infectious organisms, giardia persists longer in the environment when conditions are cool and moist.
Most dogs become infected by drinking water contaminated with feces. Giardia then infects the small intestine, and infected dogs pass microscopic cysts in their stool. These cysts can then infect another animal or person if ingested. Giardia cysts are very resistant in the environment, and can live for many months under the correct circumstances. These cysts are a threat to pet health, and giardia is a very common cause of pet diarrhea in the United States.
• All dogs — even those on year-round parasite preventives and those without diarrhea — should have at least one to two fecal samples performed annually as part of their wellness exam to screen for gastrointestinal parasites, including giardia.
• All dogs with symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea should be tested for giardia and other gastrointestinal parasites.
• All newly adopted dogs should be tested for these parasites before they are introduced to a new home, and all dogs returning from high-risk environments (e.g., kennels, dog shows, boarding facilities, etc.) should be tested.
Testing for Giardia
There is no perfect test for giardia. Giardia is an elusive parasite, and cysts are shed only intermittently from the gastrointestinal tract of an infected dog. A single fecal sample has only a 70 percent chance of detecting an infection. Performing three fecal samples within five consecutive days increases the chance of detection to greater than 90 percent. There are other tests such as the giardia ELISA that can be used with a routine fecal sample to increase the likelihood of a diagnosis to about 95 percent.
If your dog is diagnosed with giardia, he will likely be prescribed medication, and your veterinarian will recommend a follow-up fecal sample two weeks after treatment.
A dog should be bathed on his last day of treatment to eliminate all giardia cysts from his hair coat. Wearing gloves, you should bathe and rinse his whole body as normal and then focus last on his hind end. Do not touch the rest of his body after you have bathed and rinsed around the anus. This will eliminate spreading any remaining giardia cysts around his hair coat. Pet bowls, toys, etc., should be disinfected in either boiling water or in a high-temperature dishwasher. Upholstery and carpeting should be steam-cleaned and allowed to dry. Hard surfaces can be disinfected with a dilute bleach solution (3/4 cup of bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water) or a disinfecting household cleaning product.
Maybe you should ask the SkeptVet: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/
Find a blog that relates to your situation and ask a question, he tends to answer, of course he can’t give specific advice as he has not examined your dog. However, he is not selling anything over there, no supplements or books, nothing.
He really cares about animals (imo). Oh, and he is a real veterinarian and does identify himself.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by anonymously.
That is a wonderful suggestion, and greatly appreciated. I am going to do this right now! Thank you 🙂
You are welcome. I will follow. He has been very helpful to me regarding various issues I have had with my pets. Helped me make some decisions.
I just submitted my inquiry (copied and pasted what I posted here) via the “contact” form. I do not see it on the forum, was I supposed to submit my post via the “comment/reply” section at the bottom of the forum?
Great. If you are new to the site it may take a few hours for the comment to show up, once they know you, you get right through.
What blog did you respond to?
PS: Depending on how busy he is, it could take a day or two. Sometimes, for whatever reason, he doesn’t respond.
Post a question to this blog http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2015/09/homeopathy-for-canine-parvo-and-distemper-dangerous-and-unethical/
Ohh ok! thank you 🙂 Will do now
Yes, it I think it would be fine to make your dog a simple bland homemade diet for now to help heal his tummy. Such as boiled chicken or Turkey and sweet potato or pumpkin. However, I would not start adding a bunch of supplements to it all at once. You will not know what is helping or hindering your dog’s condition.
How I understand it is, the Giardia is causing the yucky stools. And trust me, I know exactly how yucky they can be. I have two big dogs and they both have had it at the same time on a couple of occasions. You need to concentrate on getting rid of the parasite at this time. Both Panacur and Drontal Plus are dewormers that have been fairly successful at ridding it. Also a probiotic with large amounts of enterococcus faecium have proved to be helpful also. I also am a believer in high fiber and garlic as a dewormer as well. But, you can clear that with your vet.
I’ve also read not to give them any diarrhea remedies per say as their bodies need to get rid of the parasites, not keep them trapped in their tummies.
And definitely follow the advice above on keeping everything clean. Pour very hot water and bleach on the spots where he goes potty. Giardia thrives in colder temps, not hot.
I hope skept vet answers your questions. I’ll be curious as to what he has to say.
Edit: BTW, have you had him re-tested yet?
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by crazy4cats.
Try not to get discouraged, he is just a puppy, sometimes they stabilize and outgrow these things. My pet shop dog would have episodes of diarrhea, at least twice a week. This went on till she was 9 months old and then it just suddenly stopped!
I never even got it diagnosed and my other dogs didn’t get it……she remained healthy for many years, but then the big C took her.
Anyway, maybe get another vet’s opinion as SkeptVet suggested.
How’s your pup doing? Have you had a repeat fecal test yet to make sure the Giardia is gone? Like I mentioned above, it often takes two or more rounds of treatment to get rid of it.
I also wanted to mention that I use the balance it site that the skeptvet provided in his reply. My dogs had a rough start too and have somewhat sensitive tummies now. I try to make them bland meals that I create for them when they have yucky bellies.
Best of luck to you and your pup.
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