Bloody Stools And Girardia in English Bulldog Puppies
In our commitment to keep our dogs from of parasites we routinely treat all dogs that are new to our home preventatively for both Coccidiosis as well as Girardia.
Our policy is to treat all our new dogs for 10 days with metronidazole and then follow this up this treatment with the vaccine shot. Girardia and coccidiosis are both extremely contagious and are found in a very high number of dogs-even when the best of care is given.
It is encouraging that the vaccine is effective and the treatment is affordable. Some vets do not have an affordable source of metronidazole. If your vet is unable to procure it at reasonable costs, ask him if he objects to your making use of Revival Animal Health as a cost effective source for this effective means of treatment.
Again, please understand I am not a vet. Collies and some other breeds of dogs can react with some of the medications noted in this article. I am not a Collie breeder. I only breed bulldogs. As such, the information contain in this series regarding the treatment of Girardia is simply my experience with my bulldogs and is not intended to act as diagnosis for your dog or instructions of how to treat your dogs. This series is simply a notation of our experience and how we have managed to keep Girardia in check with regards to our bulldogs.
If you do research online you will also find Febendazole is also used in the treatment of Girardia. Febendazole is sold in stores as either Safeguard or Panacur, but of which are registered, trademarked products.
Safeguard is usually the cheapest form of the product. I don’t buy this product as a puppy dewormer. Instead I purchase Safe-Guard 10% suspension to be used for Cattle/horses. I alternate using this with metronidazole. This can be purchased in from Revival Animal Health for about $18 to $20 for a 125 ml bottle. Here is a link to where you can purchase this product. http://www.revivalanimal.com/
We use the 10% Safeguard suspension at a dose of 1 ml (a ml and a cc are interchangeable terms) per 5 lbs of body weight for our English bulldogs. An example would be, a 10 lb bulldog puppy would receive 2 cc’s of Safeguard 10% suspension given orally into the mouth for 3 days in a row (if being used to kill canine worms excluding some forms of tapeworms). While some sources will say that 3 days treatment is sufficient to kill Girardia we have not found this to be so. In our experience it has been necesary to treat for a a minimum of 5 to 7 days. We wait one week. Then we treat a second time with Safeguard 10% suspension for an additional 5 to 7 days.
Safeguard is one of the safer dewormers available for English bulldog puppies for sale. It is not required to withold food before administering this product. It is safe to give during pregnancy and when bitches are lactating. I am not aware that any negative side effects have been documented even when given to sick or young animals.
Girardia is a squirrelly, crafty little bug. It does not matter how you treat girardia, it is a persistent bug, determined to live. Cysts can burrow into the lining of your English bulldog’s intestines and go dormant. During times of stress (which includes pregnancy or lactation) the dormant cysts are covered by a hard shell that is very difficult to penetrate or kill. An otherwise healthy dog may during times of stress begin see these cysts come out of their dormant state and all your dogs can end up being infected. Girardia cysts literally can lay dormant for years without coming.
Some sources recommend chlorinated water as a means of helping prevent the spread of girardia through water born vector. We choose not utilize this method. Chlorine is a known carcinogen. I don’t live in the city where I am subjected to chlorinated water. I don’t choose to subject my dogs to this either.
Metronidazole is not appropriate for pregnant female dogs. So be forewarned and do your homework. If you are concerned and you do have a pregnant dog, then perhaps in this case Febendazole might be a better choice followed by metronidazole when it becomes safe to do so. When faced with not being able to treat a pregnant dog with metronidazole this is a better choice than nothing at all. But for sure, when the dog is able to receive the metronidazole we definitely choose to follow up with is drug. It is easy to administer and has proven with our English bulldogs to be quite effective the treatment of Girardia.
In recent years a vaccine has been developed. This is available through Revival Animal Health. Again, a great company with great customer service. Fort Dodge Animal Health has been given approval by the FDA to market their Girardia vaccine for dogs. This vaccine has proven to help limit the contraction and spread of the disease. At the time of writing this article the cost is $151 for 25 vials. That works out to approximately $6 per shot. Here is a link to where we purchase our vaccines.
If none of your dogs has ever been vaccinated, then this vaccine might be worth your consideration. We have found it an effective protocol is to treat all our dogs for girardia as follows:
Administer metronidazole for ten days, and then follow up with the Fort Dodge Girardia vaccine shot. This protocol has been effective at limiting the occurance of Girardia among our dogs.
Please understand I am not a vet. This article is intended to be helpful in sharing our experience with this problem. Girardia is a common parasite. Understanding Girardia can help alleviate fear. It does not tend to be an end of the world scenario. It tends to be a disease that is fairly easily dealt with. In our home, we try and proactively treat all new dogs for both coccidiosis and girardia. This way we can feel confident that the dog is free of intestinal parasites. We don’t worry about false negative test results.. The dogs are happy and that makes us happy.