Today we wanted to share with you some information about giardiasis in cMaine Coon cats, a disease caused by parasitic protists that colonize the small intestine. Giardia, as parasites, can exist in two main forms: trophozoites – actively moving organisms that live only in the moist environment of the intestine, and cysts – more stable forms of parasites in the external environment, protected by a shell.
One of the main symptoms of giardiasis is chronic diarrhea and vomiting. Trophozoites, joining the wall of the small intestine, interfere with the absorption of nutrients through the wall, which leads to poor digestion of food, poor absorption of fluids and nutrients. In addition, the animal’s immune system actively reacts to foreign organisms in the intestine, which leads to rapid detachment, death of intestinal cells and increased intestinal motility. Undigested material enters the colon from the small intestine, as a result of which an increased fat content may be detected in the stool analysis, stools may have a specific odor, mucus impurities and, less often, blood.
However, often animals infected with giardiasis do not show any clinical signs, since their immune system is able to fight parasites and maintain the normal functioning of the digestive system. About 15-20% of stray cats are infected with giardiasis, but do not have any symptoms and live peacefully with this disease.
The source of giardiasis infection can also be simple tap water. Giardia cysts are very stable in the external environment and can only be destroyed with chlorine-containing disinfectants. However, the concentration of chlorine may not be high enough to kill all parasites.
There are various methods for diagnosing giardiasis in cats, from a simple smear to the use of rapid tests and PCR. After diagnosis of giardiasis, it is recommended to prescribe a course of treatment for parasitosis. The most effective drug for the treatment of giardiasis in cats is metronidazole. Tinidazole can also be used. If a cat has giardia, it is important to follow the recommendations of a veterinary specialist and complete the prescribed course of treatment.
In addition, for prevention, it is recommended to pay attention to the sources of possible infection. Toilets, bowls and other items that come into contact with an animal should be treated regularly with disinfectants. It is also not recommended to use tap water and allow the cat to come into contact with stray animals.
Remember that proper diagnosis and treatment of giardiasis can save your cat from unpleasant symptoms and health problems. Take care of your pets and keep an eye on their well-being!