Info on giardia?

Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
edited 1 October, 2007 in Cat Health
This is Delyte's person. The vet told us that his fecal sample had giardia in it, but he has no other symptoms except maybe his appetite was off, but that has come back. He is a total indoor cat and has no contact with any other cat except Stella, and she does not have it. Where could he have gotten it? Although I put leftover cat food out for the feral cats, I always wash the cat dishes in anti-bacterial detergent, sometimes soaking them. Yesterday I cleaned all the dishes with bleach and I am going to feed the strays with paper dishes. Is this enough disinfecting? The vet gave him Flagyl and so far he is taking it and it is not messing with his appetite. They want to give him a steroid to make him eat better, but I didn't want to start both at the same time in case there were side effects so that I could tell which one caused it. I have been avoiding telling my boyfriend what exactly the bacteria is, for fear that he will tell me that I have to get rid of Delyte or quarantine him or something. [He is a bit of a hypochondriac, as well as being a person with serious health problems.] If I keep the dishes and pans clean, is there any problem with contagion? Thanks! :^:


  • Jenna LuskJenna Lusk Pacific NWMember Posts: 2,034
    edited 30 September, 2007
    Oh, poor thing. Definitely, avoid telling your boyfriend. Having had panic attacks, myself, brought about by exposure to my friend's children's lice, I know what the news might do to him! I will tell you, though, that at one point, I had four cats with giardia. Two foster kittens, and my two adult cats. With all of that, neither my husband nor I ever got it. For us, we knew it came from the kittens. While they had never been outside and were supposed to be parasite free when we got them, their mommy had obviously passed giardia to them. I used disposable litter boxes while everyone was on medication and until I got a couple weeks' worth of clean poopie samples from everyone. That might be a little hard to hide from your boyfriend, though. Just be sure to empty the litter box once each day and to clean it out with a bleach mixture. That's why I chose the disposable type. I have asthma and the cleaning products were killing my lungs. Plus, I was getting tired (medicating and cleaning up after four kitties was a bit tough). Flagyl works really well and I'm sure Delyte will be feeling better soon. Watch his hydration, and I'm sure his appetite will pick up. As for the ferals, I would definitely use paper products for their food. That way you don't have to worry about cross contamination. Plastic bowls retain bacteria, so if you have used any, I would just pitch them if you are afraid that's where the nasty bugs came from. It could have been a bug Delyte ate, though, and may have nothing to do with the outside kitties. Still, an ounce of prevention and all... It is very easy to spread from cat to cat, so the most important thing is to keep the litter box clean (and even the scooper) with a bleach product. If at all possible, try the disposable ones for a couple of weeks. And while I don't advocate keeping things from significant others, I have some idea of how a hypochondriac must feel. I don't have that, but I do have panic disorder, and they are related. Sometimes, it's better if you just don't know! But if he loves you, he won't tell you to get rid of your baby.
  • Melissa FordMelissa Ford Santa CruzMember Posts: 3,914
    edited 1 October, 2007
    Although Giardia is contagious, if you use proper handwashing techniques after handling infected feces then you will most probably be unaffected. I would avoid the steroids if Delyte is eating normally again. Continue with the Flagyl as Rx'd. Here is some additional info for you regarding giardia.
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