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jeffpas
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Location: Springfield, IL
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14-05-2017, 09:24 PM

New puppy from shelter- has Giardia!

Recently adopted a new puppy after my dog of 16 years passed away

Its a little German shepherd mix and very cute. Unforunately since adopting last week it has had soft runny stools that are extremely pungent on occasion. I mean like whoah, even outside in the yard.

I looked this up and discovered that is a symptom of Giardia, a stomach parasite that can also be contagious to humans. If unaddressed, say sites on the web, it can eventually cause long term intestinal damage and even death.
Now upon reading her discharge sheet (I already saw this, but later put 2 and 2 together) it shows she actually did test positive for Giardia two weeks earlier with the rest of the pups in the litter.
She was given medication, and on the day of discharge they did a quick follow-up exam and declared her "negative", or cured.

I fear otherwise.
I talked to my vet from my previous dog, and they told me the shelter should take care of this, do a a follow up check and offer antibiotics, as it is their responsibility to stand behind a healthy adoption.

The shelter, however, told me they were 'not allowed to help' and instead pushed me off on an included '30 day free insurance' with a company called Pet First, which wasn't exactly free as there was a $225.00 adoption fee.
Call them, they said, and take care of it yourself with your own vet.

Well I called the number and before long discovered this pet insurance is the biggest scam going. They literally, don't cover ANYTHING except "2 instances of a tummy ache or a cut", and specifically exclude "Pre-existing conditions".
Instead of paying for anything they only tried to get more money by selling me more insurance!

What was more suspicious is the shelter told me on the way out "Be sure to make an appointment with your vet within a week". Which made it look like they were collecting the cash and pawning off the medical problem on to me.

There's more to worry about. Upon meeting the puppies at the shelter, I was informed by an attendant that "you can not touch the puppies without sanitizing your hands first". I asked why and he replied "Because they catch diseases from
visitors."

Now its well known that there are several types of Giardia, and one type is contagious to both humans AND dogs, and can go back and forth. So all of this makes me think the dog still has Giardia, and fear its also the human contagen, caught from a 'visitor'.

While I'm washing my hands constantly and battling with the shelter to cover the medical bills, my concerns are: How will I know, even after antibiotics, that this disease is really gone? Or do I spent my life with the dog wearing a mask and a bottle of bacteria soap, so-to-speak. Right now my friends won't even come to help with the dog because they're afraid they'll catch this.
Thanks for advice!
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Trouble
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14-05-2017, 09:43 PM
All insurance policies exclude pre existing conditions.
Personally I'd just get my vet to treat the dog asap, I wouldn't delay treatment by trying to get the shelter to pay. No point freaking out about worst case scenario, get the vet to test the strain and find out for sure what you're dealing with.
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jeffpas
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14-05-2017, 09:46 PM
We discussed this Friday and my vet could not possibly get her in until Monday anyway. My vet informed me that it would be safe to wait until then. But I agree I would like to have another test.
We've also been told to email the 'administrator' of the shelter to appeal the denial of help which has been done and my vet has been copied. We are waiting for their reply, hopefully tomorrow.
However the problem with Giardia is that the cysts, the way it spreads, are not passed every time the dog goes....making testing difficult as well as confirming cure. Also dogs can be lifetime carriers, and Giardia in the yard can be extremely tough, living months they say if the conditions are right.
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Gnasher
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14-05-2017, 09:51 PM
The treatment for giardia in dogs and humans is metronidazole. You cannot "catch" giardia from just being around infected dogs - you catch it from water contaminated with giardia or from the feces of an infected animal including humans. It is a protozoan similar to an amoeba and if infected by them it can make you very poorly ...I know because I have been. The wormer Panacur will kill giardia and is probably the best way to get rid of it as metronidazole makes all animals including us feel very poorly.

hope this helps
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Trouble
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14-05-2017, 09:55 PM
Treatment may go on for a while but it's treatable with Panacur and Metronidazole as Gnasher says. There are plenty of old posts on the subject on here if you search.
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jeffpas
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14-05-2017, 10:08 PM
I'm looking at her medical sheet and now I can read the writing.
It says on 4-26-17 she was given "Panacur + metro".
I was reading it as "Panaurmetro" and of course, that wasn't coming up in Google lol.
Yes I know we're jumping the gun but what can you do until the test. But I'm worried about the yard and recontamination.
There are people in forums spraying bleach on their yard (and killing all their grass) that seems a bit overkill. Also they say "pick up the feces before it gets into the soil!" as if its the oil of Lucifer himself.

As her movements have been somewhat mushy off and on, I find this a difficult task enough let alone the odor reminding you you may be handling something that could make you infected. So yes, I've been leaving them there at the moment. And we had a long bout of cool, heavily wet weather the first days she was here, to help things along.
Odds are then my soil has already been well oiled.

BTW I didn't quite understand part of your response Gnasher- are you saying you caught Giardia from your dog once, and felt very poorly?
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Gnasher
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14-05-2017, 10:22 PM
No ... we were infected from the disgusting practice of using human sewage sludge on the fields round here as a fertiliser. We live in a tiny village right on the edge of agricultural land which was spread with the stuff literally feet away from my kitchen window. not only did us humans get infected, so did our dogs and were extremely ill. We have no idea who became infected first, but it was horrible and we were all very ill. Thank goodness the farmer has now grassed over his fields and runs bullocks in there ... much nice than breathing in human poo every day!
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jeffpas
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14-05-2017, 10:37 PM
By the way one other thing I'm not understanding.
If its common knowledge that no insurance covers pre-existing conditions, then why did the shelter tell me to call and use the 30 day free insurance with my own vet, when I told them I thought the dog still had Giardia?
And the insurance requires you to pay first, then submit to them for reimbursement.
I dunno. Something is just not right here.

Also you present another question.
I have edibles in my backyard- Arrowhead viburnum berries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries.
Is this Giardia going to be sucked up from the soil into the food?
Sorry, I'm new to all this. Lord knows I'm looking online....
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Trouble
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15-05-2017, 07:14 AM
Firstly you need to clean up immediately and not leave it to linger, I clear up after my lot as soon as they go and they're not ill. My garden is dog friendly and they only have access to the paved area unless I'm out there with them, so cleaning up is relatively easy and yes I use bleach on the patio.I find the idea of dogs crapping on my grass very off putting as I walk barefoot a lot. So in your case I would be confining the dog to a small area of the garden, preferably paved , I'd rig up some type of temporary fence tbh.
I think your mind is running wild tbh and you're scaring yourself. Everything I've read says the source of infection is animal faeces or standing water such as puddles and buckets that are not refreshed daily. So yes you need to get on top of a cleaning regime but you really don't need a Haz mat suit.
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Gnasher
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15-05-2017, 08:43 PM
Originally Posted by jeffpas View Post
By the way one other thing I'm not understanding.
If its common knowledge that no insurance covers pre-existing conditions, then why did the shelter tell me to call and use the 30 day free insurance with my own vet, when I told them I thought the dog still had Giardia?
And the insurance requires you to pay first, then submit to them for reimbursement.
I dunno. Something is just not right here.

Also you present another question.
I have edibles in my backyard- Arrowhead viburnum berries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries.
Is this Giardia going to be sucked up from the soil into the food?
Sorry, I'm new to all this. Lord knows I'm looking online....
A simple answer - no. You can only be infected with giardia from contaminated water or contact with fecal matter - directly or indirectly.
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