What You Should Know About Giardia in Cats

If your cat developed a sudden, foul-smelling-diarrhea, it could be caused by a parasite called Giardia that is commonly spread through the poop of infected cats. Due to giardia, the intestines of cats become weaker and massive damage awaiting them. In this article, we will describe all about giardia in cats.

Some people often mix up giardia with intestinal worms. However, both are not the same. Giardia is a parasite that directly attacks the gastrointestinal tract. When cats suffer from the disease, they undergo severe diarrhea, but it can be cured effectively with proper treatment.

 

How Cats Get Giardia?

There is not very much research among vets on giardia among cats. Mainly the research has focused on the human aspects of the disease. However, with some investigations, it is now evident that giardia is spread among cats due to the swallowing of the organism in its immature state.

A large cyst can be seen during a cat’s stool excretion. After reaching sa cat’s guts, the organism becomes mature and cyst. This giardia is a contagious disease. If others contact the stool of the affected cat, they also get involved. In addition, cats who drink water from unhygienic sources also become victims of the subject’s disease.

Symptoms of Giardia

By looking at the signs of the disease, we can say that giardia among cats can be fatal. The prime signs include excessive watery diarrhea and an incredible loss of weight. Mostly, cats suffering from giardia cannot show any symptoms. However, cats in their older age or the kitten living in small quarters in stressful conditions are likely to show clinical signs. Thus immediate treatment is needed.

Diagnosis of Giardia

Usually, a microscopic examination of the cat’s stool to check for ova and parasites. The parasites are also visible in a direct smear of the stool. Your veterinarian can check your cat’s blood or feces for specific giardia antigens if giardia is suspected. These tests are more precise than a stool examination, but they take longer because a sample must typically be sent to a different laboratory.

Treatment Of Giardia

There is no officially approved drug for the treatment of giardia in cats. Still, cats typically need to take the antibiotic metronidazole for five to seven days as the standard treatment for feline giardia. Another similar drug, such as albendazole or fenbendazole, may also be recommended by your veterinarian.

Prevention Of Giardia

Until now, no medication has effectively shielded cats from giardiasis. Although a giardia vaccine is reportedly available, there is insufficient data to determine its effectiveness.

The vaccine has been shown to cause local reactions, even though one study found that young kittens who received the vaccine were immune to infection six to twelve months later. According to additional research, cats who are already infected may not respond well to the vaccine, and it may not be able to stop reinfection.

Conclusion

Like humans, giardia is also found as a fatal disease in cats. But there is not much research on the case of cats. However, we know that the disease is contagious and spreads by swallowing an immature organism.

Clinical symptoms are shown by older cats and those living under stressful domains. Giardia treatment options are widely accessible and reasonably priced. The most frequently prescribed antibiotic is metronidazole. Additional drugs might be recommended depending on the infection’s severity and the cat’s health.

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