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It's that time of year again - cool, rainy weather, a chill in the air, the last few days before we plunge into winter snow and freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, these are ideal conditions for a pesky protozoan called Giardia, which is a tiny parasite that can work its way into the gastrointestinal tract of dogs, often causing diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and lethargy. They thrive in cool, moist conditions so we often see them showing up at times of the year where standing pools of water are common. Dogs that live near farmland and ponds are especially likely to contract Giardia. Once these stowaways are on board they can be passed through feces.

Unfortunately, one of our furry friends was taken to the vet for an upset tummy, where his owners tell us they found Giardia.

We always clean up messes and disinfect the areas where the dogs go potty. We sanitize all areas of our building daily and our equipment daily, using products designed and approved for veterinary facilities.

Because we feel that the benefits of quality social interaction for the dogs outweigh the risks. But we put in as many safeguards in place as we can. A negative fecal is one such safeguard. Now you understand why we strengthened our vaccination requirements to include a negative fecal result. Tests and vaccinations go a long way toward keeping our furry friends healthy. However, no vaccine is foolproof. So vigilance and communication are essential to keeping our canine companions safe.

Thanks to quick action of our canine friend's parents we are able to pass this news on to you. While most adult dogs have been exposed to Giardia, and their immune systems will guard them against illness, keep an eye out for the symptoms mentioned above. If your dog shows any of these, or seems oddly low on energy, check with your vet.

Dirk Broersma