Giardiasis in Cats

Giardiasis in Cats

Giardiasis is an intestinal disease caused by another protozoan, Giardia labia, and is found mostly in kittens and young cats. The disease is characterized by diarrhea or dysentery, often with a heavy flow of mucus and blood; emaciation; listlessness, and loss of weight. The parasite causing giardiasis lives in the cat’s small intestine and passes through two stages of development. The parasitic form, known as a trophozoite, is pear-shaped. It is a very active organism and may be seen in loose or semi-liquid stools under a microscope.

An oval-shaped form, less active than the trophozoite, is found in formed stools. The organism is cystic and it is at this stage that it is transmissible. Giardia labia is frequently found in young ocelots and margays shipped to this country from compounds. Diagnosis and treatment should be entrusted to the vet. Guardia is also found in human beings, although protozoans are not known to be pathogenic. They do, however, cause diarrhea.

See more: Cat Internal Parasite Control

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