Jan 30 2017

Protozoan Diarrhea

Protozoan diarrhea is classified as a group of diseases caused by several one-cell organisms that include Giardia, Trichomonas and Coccidia. These organisms may normally be found in the intestines in very small numbers, but multiply greatly in an intestinal tract irritated by other problems such as: intestinal parasites (worms), sudden diet change, viral infections or stress.

These organisms are visible only under a microscope, and are entirely different from “worms”, and, therefore, cannot be treated with deworming medications. These diseases may spread from one animal to another by contact with feces (stool) from infected individuals. It is more severe in younger or weakened animals. It causes a mushy or watery type of diarrhea. Sometimes, vomiting is also seen with this disease. Often, these diseases weaken the animal, making it more susceptible to other diseases at the same time.

Diagnosis is by microscopic exam and/or lab testing of the feces (stool). For treatment of these causes of diarrhea, your pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian and treated with the proper medications. Your pet should also be kept on a high quality, balanced diet and proper hydration. Also, the bedding and cage area must be clean, dry and free of bowel movements. Good sanitation is a must! Plus, it is important to keep infected animals away from non-infected animals. In addition, Giardia is contagious to humans, too.


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