The light at the end of the tunnel and Giardia.

What I should have done, starting about eight months ago, was keep a journal.  Now, however, we're here, we're open, and all the crazy stories, like when I accidentally ran the battery down in the mobile van, and then had to ask my poor clients to jump start the van, and then immediately backed it into a tree as I was leaving...all those stories are getting harder and harder to remember.   Ah, the good old days.

So at this point, we should probably start from here and go forward.  I promise to be a better blogger from this point on, and the good stories?  Well, they will be preserved on these blogs, forever preserved on the world wide web for future generations.

However, I can remember what happened this week!  And that brings me to today's topic, boring to some, but very much on my mind:  Giardia.

Giardia a little microscopic single-celled intestinal parasites that inhabit the intestines.  Dogs and cats can carry it, and it can make them sick.  But what's also of interest is that Giardia is a "zoonotic" parasite, meaning we human animals can catch it from our non-human animal friends.  You can probably intuit what Giardia does to both our pets and to us, and trust me, you do NOT want to get Giardia!

The reason I'm prattling on about Giardia is that I have never diagnosed it so much in my career as I have over the last two months!  I don't know if it's the problem with pet overpopulation here on the panhandle, or the mild climate, or if it's just the fact that there's a new, more sensitive test out for Giardia which I've been running on all shelter pets and new puppies, but I just feel the need to let my clients know that if you get symptoms, of, shall we say "Montezuma's Revenge," but didn't just come back from Cancun, you may want to mention to your doctor that a test may be in order for both you and your pets to be sure you haven't picked up this nasty little hitchhiker!  

Whether you bring in a new pet from a shelter or a breeder, Giardia LOVES to hang out where there are a lot of pets, so a quarantine is in order for all new pets until they've been tested, and pick up and discard all feces to prevent contamination of your yard.  Finally, if your pet is diagnosed, and you have symptoms of intestinal distress, please don't forget to tell your doctor about your exposure!