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Giardia vs. Whipworm?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I also posted this in the Health and Nutrition hoping it would get more hits.

DOG QUESTION - I know this is a cat site but I trust the information I've gotten on here and I believe the symptoms and general treatment for both of these are similar for dogs and cats, so I'm posting here just to get a general feel.

Ok, a little bit of background, my friends got a Bichon Frise male from a breeder (yes, he's been fixed). They love him, he's healthy and growing. Then they decided they wanted to get him a friend, and they found a puppy mill rescue where a purebred Bichon female had been rescued. They went and saw it and it received a clean bill of health and so they adopted her. She is TINY. They've had her a couple weeks and took her to their vet because she didn't seem completely healthy. The vet diagnosed her with Giardia and since my friends hadn't received a DOB for Maya yet, they asked how old she was and the vet told her 10 weeks old. Vets started the treatment for Giardia. My friend e-mailed me today very distressed saying the following:

"I think Maya has whipworm for these reasons:
Symptoms-- dull coat, dermatitis (her coat is sick and breaks easily and she constantly itches), diarrhea/stools streaked with blood (came back after two weeks this week), and she coughs a lot (yellow greenish stuff)...all symptoms of giardia, but more so whipworm The information on whipworm said it was the most common parasite for dogs, while giardia is NOT common. we found out Maya is actually five months old (DOB 9/24/06), so giardia is less likely to have affected her. Not only that, but whipworm will NOT show up in stool samples within the first three months of infection, which would be now, because the female worms are not yet mature. Maya's poo was clean in the fecal smear or whatever they do. I am even MORE irritated because the medication I ordered online (panacur c) is a common drug that not only treats whipworm, roundworm, and hookworms, but ALSO giradia. So why didnt she give us that in the first place? Bah am I a cranky Rebekah. So I am becoming vet Rebekah and intend to give her treatment once a month for the next three months and one more three months after, which according to what I read should clear the infection (life cycle is three months) as long as I clean up all her poo from here on out. GRUMBLE. "

Is this an ok course of action or should we send her to another vet? They're a bit tight on money and are dianosing her based on her symptoms and the knowledge of several of the vet techs and students around here (from Purdue Vet School).
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
Mods - just delete this thread, this won't get any responses and if it does, i doubt it will be in time to help
post #3 of 3
OK, first of all:

Giardia IS common! I volunteer at a shelter & have fostered puppied with giardia...I see it all the time!

Whipworms ARE common! You cannot get mad at the vet for not finding whipworms if they were not visible in the stool. A vet won't treat for something that they don't see. Often, things get missed in the stool sample. For example, giardia/coccidia doesn't live in the stool all that long, so the fresher the sample, the easier it is to find!

Since this is a puppy mill dog...she needs to go back to a vet. There could easily be something else that is wrong.
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