Avoid this bug!

By Susan Aiello • Published: February 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

Ever hear of beaver fever? No, it’s not the excitement of a winning season by your local college team. Nor is it the name of a real fever. It’s a nickname for giardiasis, [JEE′-ARE-DYE′′-A-SIS] a parasitic disease.

Wildlife carry Giardia [JEE-ARE′-DEE-A] organisms, and dogs pick them up from consuming feces or contaminated water. This single-celled organism settles into the intestinal tract, where it can cause diarrhea and other problems. In some cases, pets can pass it on to people.

Your vet can check your pet’s stool samples for these tiny critters, but they can be tough to find, so more than one sample may be needed. Infection can be treated with specific oral medication.

The best way to prevent the spread of giardiasis is to practice good hygiene … that includes washing hands, bowls and pet bedding.