Chronic giardia in puppy

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Health Questions' started by LadyWillis, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. LadyWillis

    LadyWillis New Member

    Hello, we adopted our first berner at 8 weeks old (Willow :)) she is now 20 weeks. We have been batteling giardia now for over 7 weeks. It started with nighttime diarrhea since the diagnosis we've done 2 treatments with the pancur and she is still having intermittent diarrhea. She's been on and off vet food to get the diarrhea under control when it gets really bad. We're still waiting to have a second test done but my guess is it will come back positive for giardia once again. I'm getting to my whits end with all the food changes and diarrhea- I feel so bad for my poor girl. Right now we feed her ACANA large breed puppy but I feel like her coat is duller then it should be and it doesn't seem to be helping the diarrhea situation. However, she is on track for her weight. Has anyone else tried any other treatment methods that have worked? Or food that helped with symptoms? Any tips or advice are welcomed!
  2. Flying_Bear

    Flying_Bear New Member

    Sorry to hear that, hope she gets better soon. Could be something unrelated, but maybe try a different food? We were on Blue Buffalo Freedom for Large Breed Puppies but our boy just didn't seem to enjoy it and had more frequencies of loose stool. We since made the switch to Fromms Praire for Large Breed Puppies. Both are grain free and had the recommended protein content we researched for Berners. Bear not only eats his meal up but doesn't seem to have any more issues with his stool.
  3. LadyWillis

    LadyWillis New Member

    Thanks for the tip. I think I will try a different brand of food. We have her on ACANA large breed puppy but the protein content is on a little bit of the high side. We had considered making the switch to raw as we're so tired of diarrhea - and we were hoping maybe the raw would help build up her immune system better but maybe we will try a different dry food first.

    She seems to have the weakest immune system she's had 2 UTI's, 2 treatments for Giardia - still has it, a terrible reaction to her shots with vomiting and diarrhea. We give her probiotics everyday but even that doesn't seem to be helping enough.
  4. k1cart

    k1cart Member

    We battled chronic guard too when we first got our dog too. It felt like it was never going to end.

    After what felt like our 10th+ diagnosis and finally demanding a new plan of treatment I took it upon myself to try different dog food. After a few long months of trial and error I had found a solution. At the time Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient dog food worked wonders for us.

    After a few years of success they abruptly changed the formula in 2014 and the issues resurfaced. We started working with a holistic vet and she really changed my outlook on dog food. To make a long story short she recommended a fish based diet as it is considered a cooling protein that can help bring the digestive tract back into balance.

    I am by no means a vet but the fish based diet has really helps us so much. We were cooking fish for our dog but he now eats the Honest Kitchen Zeal formula.

    I recommend you do some research into limited ingredient diets and the part that stinks is that it is total trial and error to find a solution. I recommend a very slow transition to a new food and see what happens.

    Also canned pumpkin (not pie filling) is a great help with diarrhea.

    Let me know if you need more info on what we went through. I feel like I could type a novel!
  5. Dayna

    Dayna New Member

    I'm so sorry to hear that and I know how you feel!

    We brought our little guy home and he wasn't eating, soft stool, etc. Finally, after his vet check up the vet being very worried it was something super serious, turned out to be giardia.

    We, too, did several rounds of meds. We did the panacur but there was another medicine, metronidazole (aka. Flagyl). After still testing positive, vet recommended we allow his immune system to work on it. We gave him plain yogurt or pumpkin puree each day to help his tummy.

    Another important thing: bathe your pup frequently! We gave our guy a bath 3 times a week especially making sure we cleaned his bum area very thoroughly. Whenever we bathed him, we put his bedding (or any blankets, plush toys, etc.) in the wash. The spores can travel and live on surfaces for a long time. It's frustrating and time consuming but the bathing + initial medicine + him getting older + yogurt / pumpkin to help his tummy seemed to work for us and he was given an all clear a couple of weeks later.

    It's also important to note that (if you look it up online) the spores shed from the intestine in waves so your puppy could be clear of any adult and live parasites but still be shedding them which will show up in stool samples. Your vet should know this though so I'm sure they're aware of it.

    Good luck!
  6. LadyWillis

    LadyWillis New Member

    Thanks everyone for your response! I took pretty much everyone's advice and tried some new food - we went onto FROMM Large Breed Puppy (from ACANA Large Breed). It was working wonders, we went the longest we had ever gone without diarrhea. However! It's back - the vet did another stool sample and the giardia either never left or its back they found active cysts so it's not just a false positive. We're going to try the metronidazole this time instead of the pancur and see what happens. I feel like her food was part of the problem but now we just need to get rid of the giardia once and for all. So frustrating and I feel so bad for her especially when she's running into and out all night long or having accidents in the house that aren't really her fault.

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