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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2002, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Giardia

http://www.labanimal.com/col/diag3.html

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2002, 10:51 PM
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2002, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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From the "Joy of Chinchillas":

...Giardiasis therefore, causes malabsorption in the intestinal tract, leading to failure to thrive and even starvation in young animals. If your animal has giardia, it can be transmitted very easily to other chinchillas, and to other animals in the household. It can even be transmitted to yourself, and to other humans. The important thing to remember is to wash your hands before and after handling an infected animal. And, when the chinchilla is well again, disinfecting the cage...


And from CA Chins:

Giardia: giardia is a flagellate protozoan, that is it has a whip like tail. It also has a sucker like mouth and attaches itself to the surface of intestinal mucosa. The method of contamination is fecal-oral; this is when dirty paws or feces gets into feed, and other chins eat the food. Humans can catch the giardia by using unwashed hands to handle food, and pass it onto other animals by handling their food with unwashed hands. The eggs [oocysts] travel from the mouth, through the stomach and into the small intestine and there lodge and multiply. Chinchillas normally harbor giardia species in low numbers [Donnelly etal] which commonly causes no problems for the chinchilla. But, under stress, in the presence of a dirty environment, contaminated water supplies, or at times when the immune system is lowered in other illnesses or trauma the giardia can then cause disease. (If you don't think your water supply can possibly be contaminated, remember the levels that are safe for a human are higher than levels of the same organism that is safe for something as small as a chinchilla. Know too that the whole Sierra Nevada water system is contaminated with giardia, and the Rocky Mountain water system is fast becoming so.) The symptoms tend to be anything from increased appetite, to decreased activity, diarrhea [or constipation] and even collapse. The diarrhea tends to be large wet stools that shine with mucous, are very squashy and tend to be smeared on the house, perches, and other flat surfaces of the chinchilla cage. Diagnosis is best done on a fresh fecal smear-- take your sick chinchilla to a vet, let him/her get a piece of feces dropped within the past 2 minutes in the office, place it onto a slide and squash it, and put a couple drops normal saline onto the slide. The slide should show the giardia easily. Treatment is usually recommended to be metronidazol [flagyl] but we have found better success with albendazole or fenbendazole. Care of the animal consists of fluids to replace fluids lost in the diarrhea [see diarrhea], high energy foods [see food supplements] and cleaning the cage and environment of the chinchilla with good disinfectants such as 20% bleach, dettrol, lysol etc.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2002, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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While you should always consult a vet before starting any treatment, the following are meds used to treat Giardia.

Fenbendazole (panacur) at 20mg\kg once daily for 3 days then repeat one treatment in 10 days.

Another treatment you can use is Albendazole once a day for 5 days.


Giardia can be spread to your other chins if they eat each other's poos - which is common. Giardia is missed by about 75% of veterinarians. The reason why they miss it so often is because they use the wrong type of fecal flotation. You need to use a zinc sulfate solution.

Most chins are asymptomatic - meaning they have it but don't show signs. In my opinion I would treat everybody - because if your chins are like mine - they throw their feces when running.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2002, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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From the Chinchilla Ranchers Guide -

Giardia is a protozoan infection of the chinchillas' digestive tract. It is not unlike a human amoebic dysentery in some respects, however, in rodents like the chinchilla it causes an acuteor chronic enteritis and intestinal disturbance.

CAUSE: Giardia in the chinchilla could be a latent condition, that is, Giardia organisms may be present in the intestines in a latane or dormant form, and become pathogenic (disease) producers when the resistance of the chinchilla is lowered. It also could be transmitted to the chinchilla through contaminated feed of th usual origin, that is, rats, mice and other rodents. In the chinchillas intestines it is a motile organism; however, when passed with the droppings it is in cystic form (capsule stage). When the chinchilla eats the contaminated feed the cysts are dissolved by the juices of the intestines and then become active and motile. The Giardia then multiply and cause sever irritation in the intestines, accompanied by fever, diarrhea, telescoped intestines and rectal prolapse, together with disturbed intestinal flora in the acute stage. In the chronic stage there is disturbed digestion which causes poor assimilation of feed. There is also a loss of weight, the fur becomes brittle and there is a significant loss of fur quality. The chronic stage also affects the mucousa in the intestines, characterized by mucous-covered, black, shriveled droppings. These are all the earmarks of the chronic Giardia condition, a debilitating disease of the chinchilla.

DIAGNOSIS: Diagnosis is usually made at post mortem by finding the motile and cystic stages of the Giardia protozoa organism. It may also be found in the droppings of live and dead animals. The usual procedure is to send about 4 droppings each from several dead or rundown animals, wraped in wax paper, and sent to the Veterinary Laboratory.

TREATMENT: Individual animals can be given 1/2 dropper twice daily of Giradisul, or 1/4 tablet of Diodoquin in a raisin. Animals with diarrhea should be given 1/2 dropper of Giardisul and 1 dropper Kaopectate twice daily until the condition clears up. The whole herd should be put on the Kock Medicated Supplement for 30 to 45 days. Sanitation on the ranch should be intensified so as to control the spread of the infection. Be sure to discard feed that may be contaminated. The usual admonition of control of mice and rats should be emphasized because this control is an important factor in removing Giardia as well as Proteus, Pseudomonas, Coliform, Salmonella, Pasteurella, and Fungus of the skin and fur of the herd.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2002, 10:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Giardia is missed by about 75% of veterinarians. The reason why they miss it so often is because they use the wrong type of fecal flotation. You need to use a zinc sulfate solution.
I took two of my chins to the vet tonight to be tested for giardia, the vet said that they did not have it, now do I worry again? Makes me wonder if she missed it.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2002, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Call her and ask her how she tested it.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2002, 11:23 PM
 
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I will do that, she gave us the Fenbenazole(sp?)just in case the 24 hr test comes back positive, and a bag of fluids(in case we notice someone not drinking and eating).
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