Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
We have a wonderful 11 week old F1B puppy. He was diagnosed with Giardia about two weeks ago. We are very health conscious and pro natural methods of curing. We gave him a 10 day course of "Kocci Free" and Monday started him on Dr. Mercola probiotics for pets.
Some days his poo seems to be much better and other days it is back to very runny with mucus. We want to do what is best for him but would like to avoid antibiotics that will hurt his little puppy tummy. Any suggestions or experience that would help ?!?!
Unfortunately, giardia is an protozoal infection, and it is highly contagious and difficult to kill. The only way to get rid of it is to use Fenbendazole (panacur). None of us likes to give our dogs drugs, but sometimes they are necessary. Panacur is very safe, and will not hurt your puppy's tummy. I have never yet heard of any puppy suffering any ill effects from it, unlike metronidazole, which is also commonly used. Letting her suffer with an intestinal parasite for weeks is far more likely to harm her than using fenbendazole for a few days.
Good to know, Karen. I've always been given Metronidazole for Monty. What are the side effects? Monty seemed to do just fine on it. In addition to the meds, our vet also prescribed a probiotic paste. I always keep that one handy the whole year round.
Metronidazole is generally safe for short-term use, but when used long term, it can have some pretty nasty side-effects. I didn't know that until just recently.
But for giardia, it is just not as effective as fenbendazole, anyway. For really stubborn cases, the two are often prescribed together.
I agree with Karen's analysis. I practice evidence based medicine so I am biased but sometimes this natural practice goes to far. In pre-antibiotic times some people recovered from pnuemonia and TB but many more recover from these things and plagues like Giardia when treated with appropriate medication. You can of course wait and see what happens but I think it's a very bad idea. And the product Kocci free supposedly treats Coccidia which is something entirely different than Giardia.
My Stuart had Giardia & Coccidia when we got him at 8 weeks. Giardia is HIGHLY contagious - try to not let the puppy's poop touch any surface (grass, dirt) as this is how it is spread. I used paper plates to catch the poo - other wise you risk infecting other dogs. Your puppy's intestions are in distress and I would rush to get the proper medication.
I too try to live as naturally as possible (I feed Cooper raw, check titers rather than vaccinate, use 100% natural products in my home including makeup etc etc). However, for giradia I do recommend going to the vet and getting medication. Cooper had worms a few years ago and i went the natural way - til Cooper got such bad diarrhea we came home to 90% brown floors and walls (use your imagination there). she was ill for several days. Thankfully i could take her to work with me where she stayed in the office (pet store) and I took her outside to go to the bathroom every hour. i ended up getting meds from the vet that had no side effects.
First question is who diagnosed your puppy, and if it was a vet, did he/she not suggest any medications?
In answer to you actual question regarding more natural methods to treat giardia, I suggest you consult a holistic veterinarian. He or she may suggest the conventional medications or others such as grape seed extract (GSE). It is perhaps the most effective natural remedy that can be used to treat Giardia in dogs. Or the vet may suggest herbs that contain the active alkaloid constituent berberine, such as Goldenseal and Oregon grape, as they have been shown to be effective in treating Giardia infections in dogs. Berberine acts like an antibiotic, and since it is water soluble and alkaloid, it can withstand the digestive acids that destroy many other types of antibiotics in the digestive tract. For the diarrhea caused by giardia, the vet will likely suggest slippery elm bark which acts as a soothing agent in the gut and intestines.
As with anything posted on DK, use your best judgment but don't let your puppy suffer if his symptoms are not relieved. I would not medicate any puppy without medical supervision.
Jane's comments on cleaning up after your puppy are well taken.
While I am totally respectful of your family's dedication ot health and natural cures, giardia is a very serious parasite, especially in a puppy. Please go to a vet and get a prescription for panacur. It is very safe and effective. Giardia kills millions of people a year in undeveloped countries and is very easy to pass around your whole family. Probiotics will be very helpful (slow, but helpful) to help your puppy's digestive system return to normal.
Everyone- thank you so so much for all of your responses and guidance. We put Louis on Panacur and he has been doing great so far..still running around the house and up and down the stairs :)
@ Karen- thanks for the Panacur advice - we really think it is the best choice ! With respect to food- we are feeding our little guy (12 weeks old) Orijen Large Breed Puppy and are concerned it is too high in protein. We hear you are a dog food guru so were wondering what your advice is about food.
Hope everyone and their doodles are having a great week :)
Glad to hear the good news.
Glad the Panacur helped.
We have lots and lots of discussions about protein levels and Orijen in the Food Group. You cannot do better than Orijen when it comes to kibble. And it is absolutely not too high in protein. Lots more info on this in TFG, but the bottom line is that there are only three sources of calories: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The next time someone tells you that 38% protein is too high, ask them if they think that more than two-thirds of a dog's diet should be made up of fat, or would they prefer plants, because those are the only other options, lol.
Thanks Karen- how do I subscribe to TFG?