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Oh my! Poor Francis!
Franny's stools were becoming increasingly softer and then one morning I noticed some blood so armed with a specimen we went back to the vet's and came home with Flagyl, Ciprofloxacin and Prescription Diet I/D formula. After 4 days we still had no joy, he had flat out bloody diarrhea and was becoming a little listless.
Just as I was picking up the phone to call the vet, she called me to bring me the joyous (!) news that Franny's stool had cultured out Giardia.
So, now we've added Panacur-C to the regimen and switched to the W/D formula food and finally after 4 days the results are in and he is on the mend, his stools are very firm.
Our new game now is "Hide the Flagyl" and with his bionic nose and exquisite sense of taste (he probably caught the Giardia from dining on another animal's stool) it's a struggle to get him to take the pills so I've finally resorted to brute strength and do it by shoving it down his throat.
Now the FUN part of the treatment plan is that I have to really wash his little bum once a day with soap and water. He absolutely loves it. No, seriously! he does!
I also had to wash all the slipcovers and fabrics that his behind came into contact with so he can't re-infect.
Sigh...
The things we do for love!
 

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I wasn't sure whether to read this or not in case it was bad news so I am so pleased that Francis is doing well.

Where does this condition come from? Someone told me it's from dogs drinking dirty water and I am glad I am meticulous with making sure I wash and brush my dogs' drinking bowls a couple of times a day and fill them with clean water.

Maybe it's from if they drink water from outside, when you have little or no control over what they drink if allowed to wander away from you.
 

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Someone told me it's from dogs drinking dirty
Contaminated water not necessarily dirty water it can be found in tap water at time. The spores are uneffected by chlorine. New fed guidelines require filtration it less the one micron absolute to remove these and other bacteria and spores however not all municipalities are doing so and have been given time waivers.

Giardia is an oppurtunistic infection in that it general infects the young and the old or those who at the time have a more compromised immune system such as fight off a different infection as well. The spores are very persistent in the environment and all most impossible to distroy.
 

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I hope Francis is better soon! Giardia is no fun!

Sophie B...Giardia is not only caught from drinking contaminated water (which as pointed out could also potentially come from a tap). Our Ninja has picked it up in the past, and I can say with 100% certainty that she has never had a drink of water that did not come from one of her clean water bowls. She most likely got it from snacking on rabbit poo, courtesy of the wild bunnies who frequent our yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think it came from yes, Mary, Francis's close personal contact with wild animal feces.
Because of his blindness he gets along by sort of running his nose really close to the ground and of course his ears will take the cysts and just dust them up into his nose and mouth.
The change in him has been dramatic over the last 48 hours. He's like a new pup, spry and full of energy for an Ol' Geezer Dog. His illness came on so gradually that I thought the slowness and lack of energy were more age related but once the meds kicked in I realized that the poor boy was just plain sick. My bad!
I'm serious about the bum wash. He does indeed LOVE it, the crazy pup!
 

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If you're having problems giving pills, my mutt is the absolute worst dog on the planet for giving pills so I have picked up a few tricks. Cheese, hot dogs, peanut butter, etc. don't work for him.

First, try the Pill Pockets from Greenies, mine like the beef flavor: Greenies Pill Pockets Capsule Dog Treats at PETCO Many dogs find them so good they just swallow them whole and don't take the time to chew to find the pills. My mutt doesn't fall for this, though.

Try putting the pill in the back of their lips, like where the wisdom teeth are for a human. If that doesn't work, I'd recommend picking up one of these: Four Paws Quick & Easy Pill Dispenser at PETCO

When we had to give our mutt antibiotics we had to shove that thing down his throat and hold his mouth shut until he swallowed. Sometimes it would take as long as an hour. Wish he could figure out that if he just swallowed it it'd be better for everyone involved. Thankfully his thyroid pills that we have to give 2x a day are very small and can be hidden in a Puperoni strip which we bury in his food.
 
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