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Yucca for Dogs

Discomfort Relief, Digestive Support, and Dog Appetite Booster

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Natural Support For Pets With Giardiasis

Vet Talks 3 min read
German shepherd puppy and cat laying on the grass outside. Natural Support For Pets With Giardiasis

Giardia is a common parasite found in small animals. It is sometimes referred to as “beaver fever”. These parasites can cause acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) gastrointestinal (GI) tract disease. Two of the most common symptoms of giardiasis in cats and dogs are diarrhea and weight loss.

Giardiasis is a disease that causes gastrointestinal discomfort for your pet. It is very important to follow the proper treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications.

What Is Giardiasis?

Giardiasis is an infection of one-celled, protozoan parasites called Giardia duodenales. At least seven genetic groups (called assemblages) of giardia may infect dogs and cats. Some of these genetic groups can also infect humans.

Giardia can be found in everyone in the world, and the transmission is via fecal-oral, which means that the cyst form of the parasite is swallowed in food or water contaminated with feces. The cysts enter the small intestine, where they mature into trophozoites (the active feeding stage of the parasite). Both cysts and trophozoites are passed in the feces.

3D diagrams of Giardia intestinalis in both trophozoite and cyst form.

What are the Clinical Signs?

Most animals infected with giardia do not show symptoms. When signs are present, the most common one is acute, small bowel diarrhea that results in the passage of large volumes of watery feces. Less often, intermittent or chronic diarrhea, weight loss, decreased appetite, and vomiting can occur. Rarely, acute or chronic large bowel diarrhea may be developed, with increased frequency, straining to defecate, and the presence of mucus and red blood in the feces.

How is Giardia Diagnosed?

A giardia diagnosis is based on clinical signs and laboratory tests such as blood work and fecal tests.

Treatment Options

Generally, common deworming and antibiotic medications may be given to dogs and cats.

The pet’s immune response to giardia is also very important, therefore nutrition plays a very important role. Diarrhea can compromise your pet’s absorption of essential nutrients. A homemade, vet-formulated diet can help ensure that your pet is getting the proper balance of the nutrients they need. I offer nutrition plans designed for your pet‘s specific health conditions, age, and size that can be easily made at home.

How Can I Help My Pet With Giardiasis?

Yucca can be very helpful for pets with giardia.

What many people don’t know is that the yucca herb can be very helpful for pets with giardia. Some studies have shown that the saponins present in yucca are as effective as the drug metronidazole (used to treat pets with giardia) in killing trophozoites of Giardia lamblia in the intestine.

As described above, pets with giardiasis can have diarrhea and yucca also may help to treat this symptom. Sarsasapegenin and smilagenin are two steroids saponins that act as precursors to corticoids. They have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation and other symptoms related to giardia including diarrhea and bleeding.

Another reason that adding yucca to your pet’s regimen can be helpful is that it can help with the absorption of nutrients. Giardia can affect the absorption of nutrients and yucca can help increase the penetration and absorption of minerals and vitamins through the mucous membranes in the GI tract. Yucca may also be supportive in stimulating the appetite and can help to reduce the production of urease. Urease is an enzyme that can contribute to the unpleasant odor of urine and feces in some pets.

NHV Yucca is a yucca tincture formulated to be the right dosage for pets based on their weight while giving them maximum benefits. This supplement has yucca extracted in a vegetable glycerin base so it can be easily administered to pets. NHV Yucca does not contain any added preservatives or additives so that you can feel confident about giving your furkiddo only the benefits of this herb.

If you have any questions about giardiasis or how NHV Yucca can help your pet recover, we’re here to help! Click the button below to start talking with one of the NHV Pet Experts now.

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

Published: November 5, 2021

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