The symptoms and features of canine giardia are soft diarrhea that is frothy, full of mucus and grease, and foul-smelling, explains PetMD. There are different types of giardiasis in canines. One is acute, one is temporary, another is intermittent, and the last type is chronic.
The symptoms of giardiasis are more noticeable in younger dogs, notes PetMD. Dogs often contract it by eating infected feces. Giardiasis in dogs is extremely common. As many as 50 percent of puppies catch it, and 100 percent of dogs living in kennels catch it.
Veterinarians diagnose giardiasis by ruling out other diseases that cause diarrhea. A fecal smear is usually enough for a diagnosis, reports PetMD. The veterinarian then prescribes medication for the dog. The owner must give the dog the medication and make sure it is well-hydrated to prevent reinfection. Bathing the dog and keeping it clean can also help keep the dog healthy. If the owner must kennel his pet, he should ask for private quarters for the dog.
The dog may need several check-ups before the veterinarian decides it is free of the parasite, according to PetMD. This is especially important in a dog that has the chronic type of the disease, as chronic giardiasis can leave a dog debilitated.