Giardia is a highly contagious parasite that causes diarrhea, greasy stools and weight loss in dogs. Drinking contaminated water, grooming infected dogs and ingesting cysts from licking contaminated objects are the most common means of transmission. Disinfection after Giardia is crucial to prevent recurrence and spread of the disease.
Bathe your infected dog to remove any trace of feces from the coat. The Silicon Valley Humane Society recommends paying special attention to the perineal region, as this area often holds a high concentration of Giardia cysts. Rinse well and isolate until the infection is completely gone.
Sweep every area of your house to remove debris and hair that may be contaminated with Giardia cysts. Make sure no fecal matter remains in any area.
Vacuum carpets, rugs, bedding and upholstered furniture to remove cysts and help prevent reinfection.
Scrub tile, kennel spaces and concrete with a solution of one part bleach to 16 parts water. Leave it on for several minutes and then rinse well.
Spray potentially contaminated areas with a disinfectant that contains quaternary ammonium compounds, which are known to kill the parasite, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Let it sit for 30 minutes and rinse well before letting dogs or people into the area.
Wash your hands thoroughly after disinfecting or handling sick dogs. Make certain other members of your household do the same.
Disinfect everything possible around the outside of your home, focusing on areas where your pet goes to the bathroom. If you cannot disinfect all or part of your yard, keep dogs and people out of the area for at least one month.
Test your private well water for contamination. Your local health department should be able to provide information and assistance. In the meantime, boil water for five minutes before drinking, mixing with food or using for tooth brushing. It is not likely that a sick dog has contaminated your well water.
- The disease spreads from feces to mouth; it is not transmitted via blood or other bodily fluids.
- Giardia is a zoonotic disease, which means it is transmissible from animals to humans.
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."