Giardia

This is a flagellate protozoa capable of parasitizing most animals, including humans (it is known as “traveler’s diarrhea” in humans). In most cases, the infection does not cause symptoms such as diarrhea and weight loss unless the animal has a weakened immune system. However, since it is possible to be spread to humans through the pets feces, it is a public health concern and the veterinarians at our clinics strongly recommend testing for and treating this infection. The test is routinely performed on feces sent to a reference lab, since it is difficult to detect this parasite using on-site techniques. The reference lab runs a sensitive and specific test for this parasite, looking for antigen to Giardia. There is a low incidence of false negatives and false positives using this test.