Giardia is a tiny organism belonging to class protozoa and responsible for causing giardiasis in pets. They live in the small intestine and cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. Cats get infected when they drink contaminated water. Not all pets show symptoms of giardiasis while younger and weakened pets are more likely to show symptoms of giardiasis which include lethargy, diarrhea, and dehydration. Microscopic examination of stool may be required to make a definitive diagnosis. However, diagnosis can be challenging because cats are not always shedding organisms into the feces to be detected. Giardia is treated by fluid therapy to rehydrate the body, oral medication, and a diet that is easy to digest. To prevent the reinfection, the following measures should be taken:

  • bathe the pet thoroughly to remove organisms attached to the fur
  • all the pets in the house should be given treatment
  • feces should be picked up as soon as possible to curb the spread

Several strains of giardia are capable of infecting humans too and can be passed from cats to people.