Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Giardia in Dogs ( Diarrhea, Vomiting & Weight Loss)

Introduction to Giardia Protozoa


If I had a dime for every email I received about reoccurring loose stools or constant diarrhea, I'd be able to buy a winery in the south of France. It is a frustrating situation for small dog owners, so you can imagine a giant breed with loose stools is no fun at all!

Honestly, after skin issues, diarrhea seems to be the next biggest challenge for pet owners. It is especially so for those who have adopted a rescue dog, or purchased a dog from a "less than desirable" kennel situation or pet shop, or purchased a dog that has been under great stress before coming to your home.

If it is a young puppy, Coccidia is often the problem and easy to find in a fecal test then treat with PBG- 51 (a natural wormer) or Albon which is a drug. Coccidia stools have a very distinct sour smell to them. In older puppies and adults the Giardia Protozoa is often the culprit, and it is next to IMPOSSIBLE TO DETECT because you have to catch it just at the right cyst cycle, or it is not evident there is a Giardia problem.

If this is a problem for my puppy buyers, I tell them to forget the testing for Giardia and simply worm with the "PBG-51 all natural wormer" from OR Panacur wormer, which can be purchased on line but is very expensive and has to be used multiple times to be effective.

The PBG-51 formula is not expensive and very reliable and the dog's system does not reject it over time. I will provide dosage and where to locate below.
As with any worming there is the potential for loose stool while being cleaned out. Probiotics used AM and PM are very important when worming.

At this time nothing else works for well for Giardia, but vets use Metronidazole and Flagyl which only stops it for a short time, then it returns.


Please take note, dogs that have the potential for the MDR1 mutation gene Collies, Shelties, Aussies, etc. with the merle gene should not be given Metronidazole or Flagyl but they can have the PBG-51 wormer with no problem.

Giardia in dogs can occur when there is with to lakes, ponds, and standing water and passed by birds, but if you have a problem with more than one dog and you have a well on the property, I would certainly have your water tested for it. Giardia is now a relatively normal organism in the digestive tract and when under stress it becomes problematic. Giardia in dogs is almost impossible to find in a stool check so I tell my puppy buyers not to even bother with the test, just automatically worm them with PBG-51 wormer. If your vet insists on a test, make sure that you do not bring a stool from home, that tells me the vet does not know how to properly test for giardia. You need a fresh, warm stool so it is best to use a loop tool and take a sample from the dog. Even then, if the giardia cyst is not present, it will come up with a false negative.

For some dogs loose stools are due to over feeding the dog, so before you worm or test, try cutting back a bit on their food for a couple of days and see if that makes a difference. For some it is a digestive sensitivity so a change to a better brand of dog food , like Precise or Nutri Source, Pure Vita and this could take care of the problem and adding a probiotic daily, even if it is on the food already can make a big difference.

When your dog is on an antibiotic, understress or being wormed. It is very important to use a combination probiotic product that has some beneficial bacteria in it that are microencapsulated, so they release down into the lower digestive tract.

Giardia is an enormous problem with dog rescues and if you have a rescue dog, then it should automatically bewormed with PBG-51 to make sure the dog does not bring it to the property. These poor dogs have have been neglected and compromised on many levels before they get into a foster situation. I can NOT emphasize enough that giardia tests rarely find this parasite.Yogurt ALONE is not powerful enough to reseed the gut with beneficial bacteria, YOU MUST USE A MULTIPLE BACTERIA PROBOTIC TO RESEED THE GUT.

What To Do First


2) Order PBG-51 Natural Wormer

OR 765-287-8288.

Get on the path of restoring your pet's to health. The kit will help restablish the gut as well as the nutrition that has been lost due to diarrhea over time.

What's In Giardia Kit#23 ?

BacPakPlus probiotics - It is my experience that NO other probiotic will work well for this extreme problem. You can purchase something locally to get your dog started before your BacPakPlus arrive,s but this probiotic was developed specifically for difficult digestive issues such as yeast, giardia, coccidia and bloat.

MSM - use and recommend the VitaFlex brand of MSM because it has been around the longest and the info on using MSM for Giardia was in their research and patent information. patent (#4,616,039) research information.

According to the Vita-Flex label you can double this dose under stress. The following instructions from the container are for Canine use of MSM.

1/4 teaspoon = 1000 mg or 1 gram
1- 45 lb. - 1/4 teaspoon
45-90 lb. - 1/2 teaspoon
above 90 lb. - 3/4 teaspoon

Give double amounts for 10 days then you can move down to once a day.

Blackleaf use daily on their food, it will work on the giardia in the inbetween times. Take 3 days to ease into to the recommended dosage so they do not detoxify too fast and get lethargic and loose stools.

Nzymes granulars or chewable pet treats- to detoxify the body -take 3 days to ease into the recommended dosage so they do not detox too fast and get lethargic and more loose stool.

Spark of Life - trace minerals, critical to the bodies metabolism, these are lost with diarrhea or chronic loose stools and these must be replaced. YOu can start this immediately and dose according to the label.

For Internal Parasite Control Dogs

1 CC of PBG-51, per 10 lbs body weight up to 50 lbs.
Then 50 lbs and over use 5 CC - total -regardless of weight over 50 lbs.

This is a liquid and can be mixed with other things like canned meat or given directly with a syringe (no needle) into the side of the mouth..follow up with a treat to make it tolerable. Some do do not mind it, some dogs are't so crazy about it.

Give wormer for 3 days, then repeat in 2 weeks for 3 more days, then followup with once a month for prevention.

Candida Fungus, give for 3 days, repeat in two weeks for 3 days then give it for 1-2 days each month to keep it at low levels. Probiotics should be given daily as well to help reseed the gut. You might want to add it to drinking water after it has been given for the two weeks. Make sure your dogs drink the water. Add 1.5 CC per gallon of drinking water .

PBG - 51 is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and human and animal and plant friendly.

Note: When dealing with tiny toy breed dogs, I am not confident about using this wormer on anything under 8 lbs of weight without diluting the dosage. Make sure you reduce the dosage down --if under 10 lbs. One suggestion is to use 1 cc for 10 lbs of weight, but cut it in half for tiny dogs. They have special needs like the giant breeds!! If a dog weighs less than 5 lbs, you need to contact your vet for worming.

To Purchase wormer, contact First Choice Naturals, Inc. at 1-765-287-8288



These stories are before we had PGB-51 wormer so the process was much longer and more expensive..still it will give you an example of their struggles with this problem.

Pet owner writes: "We had her stool checked again for Giardia it was negative, of course".

My Response: "From all that you are telling me, this dog has Giardia - you simply can't find it! It is so hard to find you just need to treat for it.Discuss with your vet about worming her with Panacur - do it for 4-5 days, then in 11-13 days take the same dosage you have for 4-5 days. This Giardia is IMPOSSIBLE to find. Everything you tell me says this is a giardia dog and you won't get relief until you get this cleared up. I know one pre-vet student that ended up taking her dog to work with her, pulling a fresh stool samples 3 times a day for several days before they actually found it - and here she is working with the vets right there in the laboratory at UC Davis and even they didn't find it! You have nothing to lose to try my suggestion because at this point nothing else is working."

Owners Response After Following My Suggestion:
We saw a new vet at the office and I convinced her to treat for Giardia with Panacur, per your suggestion.  Within 2 days, her stools looked better than I had seen in a long time.  Within a week, she gained 3 pounds.  She still isn't eating a lot yet , but 2 1/2 cups dry and 1 can is better than barely 1 cup dry with gravy per day.  She's gaining weight!  She's definitely feeling better.  Anyway, thanks again.  I REALLY APPRECIATE everything. - TSM

Here is a letter from another pet owner - March 2011

Dear Linda,

I wanted to take a minute to thank you SO SO SO much for your information regarding the treatment of giardia. I purchased a puppy at 4 and a half months of age who was in a terrible hoarding situation. She, her siblings, and her mother were taken to a kill shelter in Tennessee, and the puppies were rescued by a rescue group. Unfortunately, her mother was euthanized. Upon receiving my puppy, she appeared thin and weak. Her fur looked horrible, and she had an infection from her spay wound opening and not being treated properly by the rescue facility. She also had severe... SEVERE diarrhea. I was getting up almost constantly the first night to take her outside so she wouldn't soil her crate.

I took her to so many veterinarians, and spent THOUSANDS of dollars over the course of a few months to try and get her diarrhea under control. They had me convinced that due to her terrible upbringing thus far, she had IBS and I'd need to forever keep her on flagyl to keep her stools firm enough that she could hold herself throughout the night. I didn't accept this as a diagnosis, and so my search for her issues began online. Thank god I found you Linda.

I followed your instructions, and aggressively dewormed her with panacur (admittedly, longer than you suggested due to her case being so severe), and it WORKED! There is simply no excuse for so many doctors and specialists to not know what may be causing this due to her symptoms.

Thank you for helping me to save my puppy. I love her to death and I was so terrified to lose her. Enclosed are a couple of pictures of her in healthier times.

Sincerely and respectfully, Carrie L.

treatment for giardia in dogs


Giardia - this is a waterborne protozoa (a parasite, but not a worm) which is VERY difficult to detect. Only at certain cycles will the cysts be noticeable in the stool which makes it next to impossible to detect. To test for this you need to to have the vet go up inside the rectum with a loop and take a fresh/warm sample of stool from the dog in order to get an accurate reading. You can’t bring one in in a baggie! Even if the dog shows up as negative for Giardia, and the dog exhibits any of these symptoms, you need to discuss with your vet the necessity to treat for Giardia, in order to rule out any infestation.

  • Intermittent loose stools (most dogs have this and it can happen to puppies).

  • Will not gain weight

  • Poor appetite

  • Some dogs will eat but keep losing weight

  • Graze on grass excessively

  • Gassy

Anytime you have a dog that will not gain weight, is on/off their feed and/or with intermittent loose stools, gas or diarrhea, you should check for Giardia first, before you start running up vet bills looking for other health problems. Sometimes these dogs will not eat, because Giardia causes such stomach upset and severe cramping. It is because of this, they will often graze on grasses excessively.

Giardia is a very big problem, one that goes undetected by most veterinarians Carol Turkington writes, "Once an infestation of Giardia, it often reoccurs. Giardia is spread by food or water contaminated by the Giardia protozoan organism found in the intestinal tract and feces. When the cysts are ingested, the stomach acid degrades the cysts and releases the active parasite into the body. Once within the body, the parasites cling to the lining of the small intestine, reproduce, and are swept into the fecal stream. As the liquid content of the bowel dries up, the parasites form cysts, which are then passed in the feces. Once excreted, the cysts can survive in water for more than three months. The parasite is spread further by direct fecal-oral contamination, such as can occur if food is prepared without adequate hand-washing, or by ingesting the cysts in water or food."

Turkington goes on to state, "Diagnosis can be difficult because it can be easy to overlook the presence of the Giardia cysts during a routine inspection of a stool specimen. In the past, the condition has been diagnosed by examining three stool samples for the presence of the parasites. However, because the organism is shed in some stool samples and not others, the infection may not be discovered using this method. A newer, more accurate method of diagnosing the condition is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that detects cysts and antigen in stool, and is approximately 90% accurate. While slightly more expensive, it only needs to be done once and is therefore less expensive overall than the earlier test."

In 2001, Flagyll (Metronidazole) appeared effective in only about 60% of the cases. "Currently, some vets feel the effectiveness of Flagyl (Metronidazole) is down to 70%. Known side effects of Flagyl are nausea, disorientation, yeast growth, liver failure depression, regurgitation, and nerve damage".

This is another waterborne parasite that vets do not test for but could be at the root of your problem. Ask you vet to read about Cryptosporidiosis but this can be handled with PBG-51 Wormer.


Another Cause for Seasonal Diarrhea - Read this Article





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