Giardiasis in cats –this medical term actually refers to the intestinal infection that’s due to the protozoan parasite giardia. This parasite may also infect other animals. Further, this is the most common intestinal parasite that’s found in humans. The contamination of these condition might be from indirect or direct contact with the infected cysts, yet commonly, cats may acquire an infection by way of ingesting infectious cysts, which are shed by some other animal via its feces. In this article, we will discuss some more interesting facts about giardiasis in cats including its causes, symptoms, prognosis, and treatments. Read on to learn about these and more!
What is Giardiasis in Cats?
Giardiasis is actually an infection that is instigated by Giardia intestinalis parasite. Furthermore, the parasite may affect both animals and humans. In the actual fact, this is a common cause of diarrhea in people who travel frequently. The cats may be infected after drinking or eating things, which have been contaminated, primarily animal feces or groundwater. When the parasite has already been introduced in the body of the cat, it may latch onto the intestinal wall and start to reproduce and feed. This may cause an immediate discomfort and a sudden diarrhea.
Moreover, the most apparent signs of the giardiasis include soft and odorous diarrhea, which might or might not contain mucus or blood. Cats, which are suffering from giardiasis may experience intestinal discomfort, as well as might be at risk of becoming austerely dehydrated. In order to prevent complications, it is so important that you take the cat to a vet as soon as you start spotting the symptoms.
Giardiasis is due to the giardia intestinalis parasite that may infect both animals and people. Cats need to eat or drink the parasite to become infected. Commonly the cats may develop this kind of infection after they drink contaminated water or eat contaminated feces from some other animals. When the parasite is already in the body of the cat, it may attach into the intestinal walls and start to reproduce themselves.
The cat may start to show some symptoms of the condition suddenly without showing any warnings. The most apparent sign of giardiasis is diarrhea with a robust odor that is commonly watery or soft, as well as might slightly be discolored. Some felines might have a mucus or blood in their stool as well. Nonetheless, this isn’t the only indication of giardiasis in cats. Some other symptoms include:
- Weight loss
Cats may hastily be dehydrated if they keep on having diarrhea without any medical attention, hence it is so important to take the cat to a vet as soon as possible for the proper treatment. Make sure that you tell the veterinarian when did the symptoms fist started, as well as how often did the diarrhea has happened.
Giardiasis in cats appears as a soft, strong-smelling, fecal matter, thus the veterinarian might need to know if this is the way the cat’s fecal matter really smells or looks. You might also need to let the veterinarian know about the diet of the cat. Cats might frequently get diarrhea from the diet changes, hence if you have not made any changes, it is so important that you rule this out as a possible cause.
In addition, the vet might also need to examine the stool of the cat, to be able to provide a precise prognosis. Either a fecal flotation test or fecal smear test might be done on the stool sample. If the cat has giardiasis, the parasite might be present in the fecal matter. Nonetheless, it isn’t guaranteed that each stool sample may contain parasite. Hence, the vet might need to test manifold samples to confirm that it is giardiasis. It is also possible that the vet may ask to test the samples from 3 separate days before they make a formal prognosis.
Treatment for Giardiasis in Cats
In some instances, the vet might not be able to spot the parasite in the stool of the cat, even when it is existent in the body of the cat. If there are no other symptoms identified, the veterinarian might diagnose the cat with giardiasis although he hasn’t seen the parasite.
Moreover, unless the cat is so weak, you need to take it home after the consultation with the veterinarian. Nonetheless, if the cat has suffered austere electrolyte imbalance or dehydration form having diarrhea and vomiting, he might need some Intravenous fluids. There are actually no medications that have been approved to treat giardiasis in cats in the United States. Nevertheless, veterinarians may still administer some prescription medications, most typically metronidazole, in order to treat the condition. This may commonly need to be given for a certain period. The cat might also need to be completely bathed to make sure that there are no parasites that’s hiding in the fur of it.