GliderCENTRAL

Does anyone have experience with Giardia?

Posted By: Anonymous

Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/24/11 06:52 PM

If so would you mind giving me a call..

I am not going to be around to check the boards for a little while and I could use some support.. I think my babies have

Heather
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/24/11 06:56 PM

I just wanted to add this because I know you guys (I am one of you guys) and I didn't want you to freak out and say get em to the vet right away... (I thought of this after I posted)

They have already seen the vet today we are just waiting on test results and I have never had a sick glider so Id just like some back-up!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/24/11 11:35 PM

I actually got to see the protozoa under the microscope... totally disgusting.. cysts and octopus looking creepies sooooo nasty!

So it was a positive result.. at least it is easy to treat.


I am extending my quarantine time to six weeks for new gliders and getting a set of tent/toys per cage instead of sharing.. I never expected this, I guess we never do.





Posted By: tjlong

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 12:14 AM

Quote:

So it was a positive result.. at least it is easy to treat.


Really? Last time I checked it was a pretty lengthy process to make sure your gliders are completely clear of Giardia. What did your vet prescribe and how are you supposed to use the meds?

You might want to re-think that 6 weeks. It could be much longer. You also need to clean everything daily from what I have read with a bleach solution.

Please fill us in on what your vet told you. So sorry to hear your gliders have it! frown
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 12:42 AM

Oh I meant 6 weeks before introducing new gliders to the glider room, not treatment time.

So no one shares something like this, because there are no real signs until its too late and it is NOT a test done in a normal fecal.They had 2 normal fecals done one from the breeder and one from my vet when I brought them home, and they look and act like very healthy little joeys.

The vet sounded confident that it would be gone in 10 days and she is a very glider experienced vet.

The rx was for Metronidazole for 10 days. Retest for the parasite in two weeks and it should be gone.

Yep, everything is going through multiple bleaching's and I had to toss some toys and items that I cant sanitize.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 12:52 AM

If anyone has experience with Giardia, I would love to hear how it turned out and what you did, how long it took to treat and all that.
Posted By: tjlong

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 12:55 AM

I really hope it works! That stuff can't be fun to deal with!
Posted By: WintersSong

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 12:57 AM

Giardia is one of the harder parasites to get rid of.

Here's some links from The Sweet Spot that might be of assistance...

http://thesweetspot.forumotion.net/t40-giardia

http://thesweetspot.forumotion.net/t295-proper-protocol-to-effectively-treat-a-parasite-infestation -- (this link says "except giardia" but it will give you an idea of the cleaning process).
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 01:51 AM

Giardia can be difficult to get rid of. To be sure you are actually rid of it you need to test, retest, and retest again. A fecal float/smear will not always catch it, nor will a SNAP test 100% of the time. Giardia sheds cysts on a cycle, so a negative does not mean the glider is completely clear. If you have any other health problems in the glider(s), Giardia can be much more difficult to clear up, not to mention allergies/sensitivities to Flagyl.

Some people have had success using a combination of medications, others have not. Bleach does not kill Giardia cysts, so if you have access to a steamer, this will be your best option for sterilization.

There are many, many threads in GC's Health & Hygiene 101 subforum on Parasiteshere with personal experiences. Good luck, I hope this clears up quickly for you.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 02:45 AM

Thanks for the advise I do have a steamer.
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 03:17 AM

Good luck with getting rid of it, it can be a huge pain in the butt to get rid of, I've heard of it taking a month or two even...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 04:21 AM

If it takes long then it takes long... Nothing I can do but fight for my gliders.

Thanks for all your support and responses, looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 07:25 PM

No one is suggesting that you are taking this lightly. Many of us have either experienced or heard the long stories about battling Giardia, we are just trying to be helpful. There are certainly people who have treated Giardia once and were done. We just want you to be prepared for the possibility. thumb
Posted By: sunjana1

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/25/11 08:10 PM

I recently posted some info in another thread you might find helpful and relevant.

http://www.glidercentral.net/ubbthreads/...NAP#Post1085628
Posted By: rosiethunder

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/26/11 04:51 PM

I had to take my Piper to the vet a few days after I first got her about four or five years ago . I had to give her meds with a syringe for a pretty long time. The vet gave me double the meds so I could treat Suge as well even though he had no symptoms just in case. She had me give her extra mealies too... she started feeling better with in a few days. The vet suggested that the most likely way she had contracted it was from either dirty water at the breeder or coming in contact with another glider that had it, from drinking dirty water. It is Highly contagious, so be careful. I almost lost Piper to it. But she has never had any other symptoms of it. The vet did tell me it can sometimes lie dormant and that stress will manifest it too...,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 02:41 AM

Thanks everyone for the support!

I finally got my cleaning done for today. (6hours of holding the steamer hand and micro-cleaning!)

I also made a bunch of big red pouches and vines (My attempt at biohazard humor) that I can trade everyday and throw out every week.

Many of you probably wont agree with me on this but I took out the wheels from the gliders confirmed to have the parasite. I have stealth wheels and the micro-cleaning between each grid of track is almost impossible and since it is reinfected from their poo, it isn't worth the risk to me.

So I have the giardia under isolation to the best of my ability and if I haven't contacted you, then none of the gliders I received from you are affected.

I am watching everyone very closely and doing the full daily clean out, all the gliders are acting fine still and the ones that initially had it are gaining their weight back.

Everyone's eating and drinking wonderfully as well. I have added extra mealies, yogurt (the ones with live cultures that help kill this parasite) and glideraid for everyone daily.

Does anyone have other ideas or advise to help?
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 05:08 AM

I think taking out the wheels is completely fine. You want to reduce the likelihood of reinfection and leaving wheels and difficult to clean toys in their cage just makes it less likely that you are going to get everything clean. thumb
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 05:18 AM

Originally Posted By: sugarlope
No one is suggesting that you are taking this lightly. Many of us have either experienced or heard the long stories about battling Giardia, we are just trying to be helpful. There are certainly people who have treated Giardia once and were done. We just want you to be prepared for the possibility. thumb


Thanks for your concern. I am not defensive at all, in fact I am very grateful for and open minded to any advise I can get.

I am just stressed about it, these are my fur babies you know.
This is all very new to me. I have never had any pet with a parasite especially a whopper like this one. >< It is a very touchy subject and it is hard to find support because many who have faced it don't want to get a bad rap. Truthfully, there is usually nothing we could do/have done to prevent it. Both the breeder and I did everything by the book and here it is!

I edited my spelling and I must have went a bit too far and erased part of my first post including my phone # which is (970)690- 3154 call/text.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 05:26 AM

Oh another thing I have learned, is that bleach can kill giardia but it takes 45 mins to an hour fully emerged in a diluted 4/1 solution. If you just wipe or spray with bleach it will not kill it! Just in case anyone else facing this is watching this thread.

My source is my county water department.
Posted By: sphynxie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 02:36 PM

When my cats had it I used bleach and something called Vet 10 (maybe its a vet cleaner, and its Vet and then a number I may be lying about the 10 grin ) that I got from my vet, I only had to treat my cats one time.

ETA: I for some reason think you are supposed to use cleaner with quaternary ammonium?
Posted By: SariYappa

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 05:58 PM

The only thing I can add to this, to make your life a little bit easier, is to use a hospital cage. When I was dealing with Giardia for my little rescues, I made up two hospital cages that were a LOT easier to clean, and took less of my time. (since you have to do it twice a day!)

I also did a thorough cleaning of their everyday cages so that when they were all done, they had a nice clean, germ free place to go. thumb

Last, but not least, I made a third hospital cage that I could switch out, while really soaking/cleaning the first... this made life easier on them, and on me.

Hope this helps. sorry you have to deal with this, it is my worst nightmare! tounge hug2
Posted By: Johannasgliders

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 06:37 PM

Originally Posted By: SuggieMomma
Many of you probably wont agree with me on this but I took out the wheels from the gliders confirmed to have the parasite. I have stealth wheels and the micro-cleaning between each grid of track is almost impossible and since it is reinfected from their poo, it isn't worth the risk to me.



I agree with you taking out the wheels. Not because they were hard to clean but because the runny poo could be slung anywhere. That could cause a health hazard for everyone in the home.

Please be sure after handling the gliders that you wash your hands. It would also be a good idea to change your clothes. Putting your clothes in the washer not the hamper. That way no one has to handle the clothes a second time.
:gluck:
Posted By: SGQ

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 07:06 PM

I wish you the best of luck!! Truly~
When my dogs got giardia it was a particularly resistent strain. I had to steam clean the carpets daily and use bleach on tons of stuff... and I had to toss a lot of stuff.


My source was the neighbor kids playing with my dogs~ decided to give them ditch water instead of clean water. ugh... It was a year long battle with our older dog and 3 treatments for our other dog who was a puppy at the time. My research turned up that it can be hard to kill it all in one treatment. (I would even talk to the vet about a 14 day course instead of 10~? I don't know if that is a problem with suggies or not? but that is what finally helped with our dog was a longer treatment.)

I am wondering~~ would making a ton of no sew pouches so there is constantly new pouches be helpful?

I would possibly even be afraid of using the same pouches, hammocks... and so on again. Is there a way to clean that stuff enough that it can be reused or does it need to be tossed?

Again~ I wish you the best of luck here!

The hospital cage is a great idea. You could fill the tub with hot water and bleach and turn the cage every 45 minutes to soak the other side.
Posted By: tbull

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 08:22 PM

I'm confused. If you can stop yourself from getting it, from washing your hands well with hot water and soap, and your clothes in the washer, why do you have to soak everything else in bleach for 45 minutes?

Sorry if this is a stupid question, I am alittle light headed from the fumes of all the bleach in my bathroom. Spraying cleaner, then scrubbing, rinsing well, then bleaching, then rinsing several times, then steaming cages is about to kill me! ( also soaking wheels & hard toys in bleach buckets for an hour each )
Posted By: tbull

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 08:25 PM

Oh yeah, I found an article on a dog breeding site about a vacine for giardia called, "Giardia Vax" It was a beagle site and recommended getting all puppies vacinated with it to stop them from getting giardia. Anyone heard of it and if it would help with suggies? I know my vet has used a dog antibiodic injection for my suggies with any wound or UTI.
Posted By: sunjana1

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 08:26 PM

The Giardia vaccine I'm sorry to say is [censored].
Posted By: tbull

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 08:30 PM

Well that bites. Wishfull thinking. cry
Posted By: SGQ

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 09:34 PM

My dogs have been given the giardia vaccine. The vet told us all it does it helps with symptoms when/if they get it again. So basically all it does is helps them not have *as bad* of discomfort, diarrhea, vomitting.. but it doesn't actually prevent them from getting it.

What a waste~ It probably shouldn't be called a vaccine in that case.

I have no idea how washing hands and clothes is enough but bleach needs used for everything else.. I threw away a lot of stuff, including dogs beds and *anything* they laid on or came in contact with fecal matter. As for washing hands.. I wore gloves and then washed my hands as well..
I was afraid of just that~ that hand washing and clothes washing not being enough..

We also used stuff in our yard to basically kill the ground.. (you can't imagine how ugly and bare our yard looks now 3 years later) but we did everything to prevent reinfection.

Giardia is a tricky one. It can survive in your yard in the snow even~ and even when exposed to high temps..
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 10:06 PM

Everyone has such different opinions about giardia. Everything from every species has it's own strand to what kills it. My vet is real confident that it won't take more then two 10 day rounds if even that. My babies poo is normal now and I've read everything from after three days medicated your safe from further contamination to they can be contaminated for months years... Ever!

Bleach kills it... Bleach doesn't ... Everyone/thing/pet can get it... Strands are interspecies only...

Over 3 vet clinics with 3-5 vets each and not one had the same opinion!

The good news is we caught it and of all these stories it did get cured and I haven't heard any fatalities over it.

I wish there was more concrete info I'm getting dizzy!

Their is no studies or proof for any of this, so I am gearing for the long road and hoping for the easy street.
Posted By: sphynxie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 10:20 PM

There are also studies that show that humans who have been infected then tested a year later still tested posted with no symptoms, making them asystematic carriers, which a lot of people say there is no such thing!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 11:23 PM

Yeah no vet/school/study/person/story can connect any dots so I am just going out on a limb here and guessing that it does have millions of strands and any/all or none of these subjective events may be true and I just have to hope with all my might that it's an easy one.

Another odd thing is both brother/sister joeys defiantly have giardia at nine weeks even though they went to completely different states. But.. The parents test negative?!? I don't get that at all!
Posted By: Chris_R

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/27/11 11:33 PM

I happen to know ALOT about Giardia, I was part of the research team researching the very virulent Colorado River Basin outbreak....Im also the one that wrote the treatment protocol up for The Sweet Spot...

It depends on the strain ie... how virulent/metronindizole resistant it is and proper cleaning protocol as to how many treatments and how long it will take to treat. Alot of vets are doing the double yammy..Metronindizole for 10 days followed by 3 days of either Strongid or Panacur..

MASHINE WASHING DOES NOT KILL GIARDIA CYSTS!!!! all that does is spread cysts throughout the load off the contaminated material and through subsequent loads...My advice is to BOIL all contaminated material for a full 10 minutes (I have personally seen Giardia cysts still viable at the 8 minute mark)

It is zoonotic...its not species specific by any means, although some species of animals do seem to have higher immunities to be symptomatic. It really effects the young (they are just starting to build an immune system), the old and the infirm...Anything that would be immuno-compromised. You can catch it. Make sure to wash your hands paying special attention to under the nails/nail area for the entire twinkle twinkle little star song anytime you are dealing with contaimated items/animals (No you are not killing the Giardia here, what you are doing is washing anything that stuck to your hands down the drain)...

If the animal/person effected has a sufficient immune system it can keep the numbers of Giardia unmeasurable for months/years before some stessor happens (injury/illness/etc) and the person/animal again becomes symptomatic...

You can get false negative tests anytime you test prior to 21 days AFTER the last day of medicine treatment...and one negative is not considered cured, it takes two negatives to consider "cured" but even then, there sometimes can be a re-occurance later (see paragraph above)

Bleach wont kill most of the resistant strains of Giardia cysts..It takes a combo, boiling water with 1/4 again amount of bleach added to it and then it needs to soak in this solution for 45minutes to 1 hour this is for anything that cant be boiled for the entire 10 minutes
Posted By: tbull

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 12:16 AM

Then steaming after bleaching and scrubbing doesn't work either? How do you boil a large cage for 10 minutes? If you boil a wheel it will ruin it. This seems impossible. Yet many, many seem to have had a giardia outbreak with full cures.

How many times do I need to get my cages, and especially, the infected joey's parents, tested before I can consider them negative. I am also taking in each other animal in the house for testing, even though they do not have any access to the glider's room.
More samples are going to the lab again tomorrow.

All the cages have tested negative for antigens / ELISA. It has been a week and still not one sign or symptom. No soft poos, no swollen bellies ( except the pregos ) all running and playing as usual. All alittle ticked off that I keep changing their pouches and toys. Not sure my boys can handle much more re-marking their stuff.
Posted By: Chris_R

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 03:43 AM

Again it depends on the strain of Giardia, how resistant it is.... I actually spray my cages down with a strong bleach solution, then I scrub, spray some more, let it sit, then I steam it....

I deal/have dealt with a lot of nasty parasites (Giardia actually being my fav, yeah, I know Im weird)...We have alot of baylisacaris in my area with all the raccoons I rescue each year, it can be worrisome, as that one likes its coonie hosts and if its another species, tends to get "lost" in the other host and head for the brain, thus killing the host...

Giardia, although sometimes tough to get rid of completely (again depending on what strain it is) is not a "death sentence", nor is it the end of the world, with due dilegence and taking proper steps it is not impossible...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 06:41 AM

There HAS to be something we are missing. If it was really that hard to kill everyone would be infected in the world.

You wash it and it spreads to the family's clothes.. you try to bleach it in your bath tub? Really a waterborne parasite introduced to the family tub? Boil it in the kitchen where you cook in your pan? I am not even going to try that.. it sounds worse more then better...

You cant boil/soak your whole cage in bleach etc.. it almost feels like I am spending all these hours cleaning in vain!

Something easier kills it, or seriously every person/wild-animal/pet/water source would have it.

I'm not disagreeing with anyone I am just trying to figure this out.

I have been washing the cages down so the bleach doesn't get absorbed by dirt.. I add the 4/1 bleach into the drop trays and have a scrubby for each individual cage. I then scrub vigorously with the 4/1 bleach everywhere. Let it sit - This is my attempt to "Soak" as I said I will not put any of this in my kitchen or tub. After it sits I wipe it down with Lysol wipes and then use the cleaning steamer to micro clean and help rinse off the harsher chemicals so the gliders wont further get sick from the bleach or Lysol.

The smaller items I soak in a tub of 4/1 bleach for a couple hours, rinse with the hose and then spray down with the sprayer.

By your response I am not killing anything but time doing all this!
Posted By: Chris_R

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 08:55 AM

Again....it depends on the strain of Giardia, some are very resistant to metronidizole, some are not...

It also depends on the immune system of the host. Immuno suppressed animals/people are the ones we see that are symptomatic..A host with a good immune system battles it constantly, sometimes able to clear it on their own (without the antibiotic to boost the immune up) sometimes enough to just keep the levels low enough to be unmeasureable.

Its the young (immune system building), the old (immune system is tired) and in the infirm (already battling) is where you are going to have the hardest time getting rid of those strains that are resistant to Metronindizole..

We have been using Metronidizole to treat Giardia for 40 plus years or so.. The Giardia strains that have already been subjected to treatment, but not in a sufficient amount/time to kill it all, now has a bit of a resistance to treatment, times that towards 40 years of evolution and you get some strains that are more hardy, more resistant to treatment than others....
Posted By: sunjana1

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 11:37 AM

Originally Posted By: SuggieMomma
I actually got to see the protozoa under the microscope... totally disgusting.. cysts and octopus looking creepies sooooo nasty!

So it was a positive result.. at least it is easy to treat.



I don't want to discredit your vet, but I'm kind of surprised you say you were able to see the giardia cysts. Even for trained eyes they are very difficult to spot with standard microscopes and are often moving. Did your vet use centrifugation method for the fecal? Did they do a Giardia ELISA test as well? I'm only asking because Giardia is often misdiagnosed.

I also read the vet is only treating with the metronidazole? As was mentioned there is usually a secondary treatment involved - often panacur - as resistance with metro is an issue. When we used it 5+ years ago it was explained to me that it was a symptomatic treatment only, and had little to no effect on the actual giardia. Again, not trying to undermine your vet, but if this isn't a vet that you have a long relationship with and can ask about these things it may be worth having a second opinion and asking them to run the tests I mentioned. I know you are doing the absolute best you can for your babies. hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 02:20 PM

I am not allowed to say dosages as per GC rules but she is giving 3 day panacur after the first 10 days of the flagyl we just aren't there yet. And the cysts were not hard to see at all that could be because they told me exactly what to look for.

They did get diarrhea and pot bellies that went away after two days treatment.

That's another thing that's contradictory many are saying it's often missed and underdiagnosed. It is very rare and some very common the giardia and the protiens die before it's sent out for a snap test and missed. It can only be diagnoised by an on the spot slide. I've heard it all!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 02:52 PM

I just called 3 other vets for second opinions and they ALL say snap tests are invalid for anything but cats and dogs and the only way to diagnose is under a microscope or for a special glider test sent to the lab, which is pretty much just the lab workers looking under the scope and checking for the protien.

If you do a search on the snap tests you only find laymens posts for gliders as well not medical responses.
Posted By: sunjana1

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 03:01 PM

Good to know about the snap tests. I'm going to look into that more and perhaps check with the manufacturer to see why exactly that is.

I didn't mean to imply that with zinc/sulf centrifugation a microscope isn't used. It's simply a different way of preparing the sample - using a 'spinning' method in a special solution rather than letting the sample 'float'.

My information is based on an independent study done through a particular reference lab as well as a study conducted by AAHA. That doesn't make it the most accurate of all the information out there necessarily, just wanted to let you know where I'm coming from. I will say I have never heard argument against zinc/sulf centrifugation for fecals being the most accurate test, particularly for diagnosing giardia. Even my vets who refuse to use this method still agree.
Posted By: tjlong

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 03:46 PM

Quote:
There HAS to be something we are missing. If it was really that hard to kill everyone would be infected in the world.


Suggiemomma, part of the problem with gliders is that they don't see this in their natural habitat so their systems aren't prepared to combat it like animals and people who have it in their environment. The immune system itself also plays a huge part in how an animal fights it like Chris has been saying. My vet has a great Optiomega formula she puts gliders on who need an immune system boost. If you want to pm me I'll be happy to give you her contact info and maybe you can speak to her about it.

Here is some other info that might be useful. I posted it on the SweetSpot back last year:

I wanted to post that my vet here told me there is a potential new treatment for Giardia. It's name is Alinia. It's generic is Nitazoxanide. It is an antiprotozoal agent.

Nitazoxanide is used to treat diarrhea in adults and children caused by the protozoa Giardia lamblia. Nitazoxanide is also used to treat diarrhea caused by the protozoa Cryptosporidium parvum. These conditions are also sometimes referred to as travelers' diarrhea.

Now, I don't know the dosage but it is another treatment that is being used. I hope this is info people can take to their vet to discuss if the problem arises in your home!

I was also told that a SNAP test done at my vet's office often times only catches the antigen 50% of the time and that samples really should be sent off the a lab for better results when looking for the antigen and not just the actual protozoa.
Posted By: Chris_R

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 05:25 PM

Giardia cysts are teeny tiny...and really just looks kinda like lots of air bubbles unless properly focused under the highest setting on the microscopes...One of the many reasons Giardia is often missed and under diagnosed is unless specifically looked for most parasite cysts are found at much lower settings...

There are better tests performed at lab level that takes a lower concentration of the antigens produced by Giardia that the SNAP tests to test but even those are not 100% accurate.

Centrifugal fecal analyses is still the most accurate... The spinning of the matter in a solution helps to seperate the cysts that adhere (think super glue!) to the other fecal matter. This takes a lab tech with a trained eye ..and when your looking at 1500+ slides a day specifically for Giardia, you get pretty darn good at it, if you werent already wink

One of the problems is the size of the samples... glider poo, compared to say cat or dog poo, itty bitty..so there is the issue of alot of solution mixed to a tiny sample and if its a case of a glider low count numbers vs infested, it could be easily missed...The key is to get a larger sampling base...This can be achieved by getting fresh samples multiple times a day for a couple of days prior to the vet appointment, kept in a ziplock bag and refrigerated...

Hope that helps wink
Posted By: Johannasgliders

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/28/11 08:33 PM

Originally Posted By: tbull
I'm confused. If you can stop yourself from getting it, from washing your hands well with hot water and soap, and your clothes in the washer, why do you have to soak everything else in bleach for 45 minutes?


You stop yourself from reinfection by doing these things. Your glider can't do this. Gliders clean themself and each other, right! When they do this they risk reinfecting themself or the other glider. This is why the hospital cage is for the sick glider and that cage gets soaked. The soaking is to remove all poo. Poo is your enemy! LOL

If you accidently have poo on you from the infected glider you can tranfer it to a clean cage, the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc... Does that help make soaking that cage easier? dunno
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 05:46 AM

Tracy- I'd love for you to give her my contact information.

I've got a good system down now for the cleaning.
My gliders poo is much more normal looking and so far no signs of the family, or other gliders/pets getting it.

Also no signs of adverse affects from the meds.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 06:12 AM

Giardia is a waterborne illness from natural water sources, you'd think they'd have more instances of it in their natural habitats. Especially because it is very potent to the humans that visit those areas.
Posted By: Chris_R

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 12:25 PM

They dont drink alot of water in their natural habitat, getting the hydration they need from the food they eat, they are sap suckers afterall
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 03:49 PM

They still drink from many natural water sources. Sap is dehydrating, and no amount of fruit/protien combo keeps them out of their water dish. Their lifespan in the wild is vey short considering it's potential.




All these comments are getting subjective.. If you are not interested in helping me please don't comment. I'm not here to argue, I just want the best care for them. I'd very much appreciate it.
Posted By: sphynxie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 04:02 PM

Did you have your vet call one of the sugar glider consulting vets? I would be interested in what they had to say.
Posted By: Chris_R

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 04:22 PM

Originally Posted By: SuggieMomma
They still drink from many natural water sources. Sap is dehydrating, and no amount of fruit/protien combo keeps them out of their water dish. Their lifespan in the wild is vey short considering it's potential.




All these comments are getting subjective.. If you are not interested in helping me please don't comment. I'm not here to argue, I just want the best care for them. I'd very much appreciate it.


I am not the one being argumentitive here..... You are the one that asked for someone with experience with Giardia, which I have significant experience with some of those most resistant strains.....With that said....Im out,..... Good luck in finding the answers that YOU want to hear
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 04:23 PM

off_topic I would wonder how we *know* it isn't in their natural environment. I agree, that I am sure it is. If you think about the wildlife outside our own doors, animals carry parasites. If a captive bred animal is exposed to a wild animal, they will catch parasites from them that make them very, very sick (we've seen people mistakenly put wild flying squirrels with sugar gliders more than once). Just because they may not outwardly appear sick, does not mean they are not carrying something. Even with Giardia, a glider that has it does not necessarily appear sick. You may get some loose stool occasionally (or maybe not) but their behavior, appetite, activity level, etc. does not change.

Back to the subject at hand - I am really glad that all of your gliders are doing well, SuggieMomma. Hopefully this will all be over before you know it. thumb
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 05:52 PM

I am very grateful for your help and am sorry for offending you no harm meant. I do not deny your experience but your approach was from a high horse and not from across the table so to speak. I was confused by the advise (it was more about arguing that my gliders had it or not, the fact that my vet nor I were smarter than you etc.. then helping me rid of it)

Just because I have never dealt with this doesn't mean I am unable to grasp the concepts. I actually have a medical degree and seeing a cyst with 4 nuclei was very clear to me.

This is a parasite that as of yet no one really has the answers too and I don't want to argue the cause/reason I want to gather and destroy. How to destroy it is where I'm putting my efforts.

Thank you for your help I'm sorry I ran you off.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 05:55 PM

Quote:
If a captive bred animal is exposed to a wild animal, they will catch parasites from them that make them very, very sick



Gretchen, that is the key that most people tend to forget. Our gliders are many generations captive born. They have not been exposed to many of the "ickies" that wild gliders are exposed to on a daily basis so they never have a chance to build up any resistance to them.

In many ways, we harm our animals and even our human children with the use of all the "anti-bacterial" soaps and hand sanitizers and such. By living in a "bubble" (the sanitizers) we (our animals and children included) never get a chance to build proper immune systems so that when exposed to "foreign" ailments, we are more likely to get sick.

Remember back when the Native Americans were fighting all sorts of "plagues" brought to them from the Europeans (white man). The indians had never been exposed to them so had no natural immunities built up and died by the thousands where the whites had very few deaths from the same things.

As for the giardia and cleaning and such...it MIGHT be a waste of your time but it is the best we can do to try to battle it. The other option (that we know of right now) is to do nothing and we have seen what happens when nothing is done.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 06:16 PM

That sounds exactly like what I was thinking. My babies have been in a bubble. I think that is also why it spred so fast with the introductions. I can't say I haven't been called a "Neat Freak" more than once!

I cant imagine a natural environment without parasites. At least I have a treatment.. The chance of reinfection or myself or family getting infected doesn't sound fun at all!
Posted By: tjlong

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/29/11 07:51 PM

Okay, my information regarding Giardia not being in sugar glider's native habitat comes from my vet who has been working on a report that will be included in an upcoming publication. She has told me that it just isn't something sugar gliders are able to combat. With all the questions bouncing around I went online to look for some documentation. There is a publication online which explains that studies have been done in Western Australia and that giardia is a "remarkably rare parasite in native wildlife in Western Australia". This parasite has been studied and some (probably few at this time) people DO know what to do to get rid of it. We are refering to people who KNOW what they are talking about.

My vet is Dr. Cathy Johnson-Delaney. Your vet can contact her if they need dosage and info on the meds I suggested. I know that it isn't an easy thing to get rid of and the cysts can lie dormant for many months and you can get a false negative. I have been told that an 18 month quarantine is not out of the question to be safe before putting other gliders at risk.

Suggiemomma, I know you want the best for your gliders but Chris and several others (myself included) are just trying to give you FACTS and not sugar coat things. You do seem to be trying to justify a simpler solution IMO too. I do wish you and your gliders the best of luck in getting rid of this nasty stuff.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 12:39 AM

Wow.. I do not feel like I am sugar coating this at all! I wish you were here and could see how much work I am putting in. Why would you think that? Because I say I hope for the best?

Not denying your vet but their have been HUGE giardia outbreaks that have made international news in Australia.

I am actually very stressed about it and tired of arguing vets and if they really have it or not. I am very grateful for the support but it has crossed the line into attacking.

NO ONE here and no ones vet is an expert.. It is like saying your an expert on cancer, no one has figured Giardia out.

I just wanted support on how to get it out of my house.
Posted By: tjlong

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 01:52 AM

Medicalpages.com.au in one report says this, "In Australia, the main route of infection is hand-to-mouth, and the illness is becoming increasingly diagnosed due to changes in socio-economic factors (for example, growing number of toddlers in child care centres and increases in overseas travel to places such as South East Asia and India, where Giardiasis in prevalent)."

Giardia outbreaks in Australia aren't in animals from what I can tell, they are in people. It wasn't ORIGINALLY OCCURING in their environment. They are bringing it back from overseas is my understanding.

My vet IS an authority, she has studied it and she has been writing reference info for other vets. She has written numerous reference documents for the veterinary community. Look her up.

I'm sorry, I wasn't saying you were sugar coating. I said that WE weren't. It had nothing to do with what you said.

You have something with your gliders that Chris has studied and she offered suggestions. I have had great conversations with my vet about the topic and I have offered you her name and location for contact info. Do you really think that there aren't authorities on certain things like Giardia and where and how it existed? Did you try to look up the info I said I found and quoted?

I don't think anyone has said anything to try to offend you. I am sure you are working very hard to keep things clean and to try to get rid of the giardia. If no one here and no one's vet is an expert then why are you asking for help and suggestions?
Posted By: hwh4ev

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 01:58 AM

suggiemomma,
i think that is what everybody has been trying to do. help
you get rid of this horrid parasite.
it seems like there are different strains of this parasite and that is why it was recommended to find out the strain
your gliders have to get the correct meds. for that particular strain and go from there.
good luck. sounds like a nightmare.

regards,
nancy in detroit

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 03:43 AM

I feel like there is a search for recognition here instead of trying to help. No one denied that my vets dosage would work. 10 days of the flagyl followed by 3 days panacur.

We've worked out the dosage, we've worked out that they do actually have giardia. I stated numerous times that I am using everyone's advise and I am very grateful for it.

So why is all this being brought in when I am only asking for cleaning advise from someone who knows what really kills giardia.

Why am I being put in a corner? I am being accused of having a terrible vet, poorly medicating them, being defensive and not taking any of the great advise... If you actually read the thread you will see all this is untrue. I feel like many are just piping in not having read through what was worked out and what wasn't. I didn't ask for an expert I asked for someone experienced in it to help me kill it.

If you look up the history of giardia you will find that it was discovered by the French and the Brittish in the 1800's the same time they were populating australia from brittan an France, and going back and forth by sea. It is a parasite that can evolve itself out of any dirty water in hot or cold areas I do not believe there isn't a strand native to australia.

It's just a difference of opinion. Until it's proven n
Posted By: Judie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 05:42 AM

I have had to deal with Giardia which came to me via a baby glider from a very large breeder. Baby had loose stools inside the shipping carrier when I arrived home from the airport.

Vet did a fecal float and Dx was Giardia. Since the baby was new he was in isolation. He was treated for two weeks with med and remained in isolation for six weeks.

Introduced to a little healthy female of mine in my glider room after being treated and in isolation for six weeks.

About three weeks later... when I was passing out food dishes I noticed the pair looked sick. Next morning the pair were now both being seen by my vet. Seems the littel boy was now chalk full of giardia and the little girl now was infected to. On top of this problem... all of my other gliders in the room had been exposed to Giardia.

Course of treatment....

Flagyl for 7 days. Off of med for 7 days. Then repeat treatment for a total of three rounds.

Object of 7 days on and 7 days off med for three rounds is... to kill parasite as it goes through it's life cycle of shedding at different times of cysts hatching.

All gliders (thirty-five adults plus babies) were treated 2 X day with Flagyl for a total of 21 days of meds.

Glider room and everything in it was cleaned with a bleach solotion in hot water.

Infected cage with 2 sick gliders were cleaned several times a day as were their bedding, pouch and wheel and toys. Giardia is only transfered by walking or eating something that has Giardia contaminated poo on it.

Water bottles, dishes and toys were cleaned in a bleach solution with a antibacterial soap in very Hot water and rinsed well and air dried daily.

It is not the washing machine that kills the giardia... but rather a Hot Dryer we put the cloth materials in to dry. High Heat kills Giardia. Hot soapy water and a solution of Bleach also kills Giardia. A good High Heat Steam cleaner should work also but I do not have one so not experienced with using one on Giardia.

When do we see Giardia Outbreaks in kittens and puppies and gliders? Usually in warm moist weather or in temperate zones that are warm and moist year round where contaminated poo does not dry out quickly.

Summary: Giardia if treated on the 7 days of Flagyl and 7 days off of med for three rounds is effective for treatment. Hot Water with Soap and a Bleach Solution is effective as to cleaning cages, water bottles, dishes and toys. Hot Dryer is effective in killing Giardia on clothing.

Like any Parasite... if we are able to break the life cycle of Giardia... then we are able to get rid it just like we do with the common Flea.

Hope this gives some insight. It worked for my gliders. I have owed and bred gliders since 1997 and have only had Giardia once and it was a nightmare that I do not want to ever experience again.

Good Luck.

Judie Hausmann

Posted By: JillMarie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 07:38 AM

I was not commenting on this thread as I dont have any hands on experience with Giardia. But I do want to make a few points.

Gretchen and Dancing make very valid points about the effects of parasites in wild/native animals that are then introduced to our captive ones. I want to add that some wild animals also carry parasites that are actually beneficial to them, or at least naturally occurring, and have no ill effects to the host but then can be quite deadly even to us humans (raccoons for one) so we really cannot compare the possibility of giardia in the native habitat and use that for our pets here at home.

When a friend's dog was thought to have giardia I did a TON of research off the internet to try and help him. His vet said it wasnt a big deal and that he couldnt catch it. I thought WHAT?! So I must have printed out 300 pages on giardia from a number of websites targeting both animals and humans. One point that was mentioned more than once is that giardia may never be cured/eradicated form its host but that it just becomes "controlled" and the host learns to live with it. Stress can then bring on symptoms as we all know the body becomes weaker under stress and is prone to illness. Yet other sites mentioned it can be eradicated fully but does usually need multiple treatments over time. In a cycle.

I bring up these points just to show that SOME vets can be misinformed, just like all the rest of us. We are all given the same info in schools, but some of us are A students and some are D students. Maybe that vet missed that question on his exam? But I also want to point out that while the internet is a good resource for info, it also is not infallible.

This is where gleaning some info from personal experience is nice too. And the members here have a wealth of information to share in the way of experience. Thanks to all that contributed your experience and TIME to post and try to help out. I appreciate it, as I learn from it as well.
Posted By: LabNGliderMom

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 11:21 AM

Originally Posted By: SuggieMomma
I do not believe there isn't a strand native to australia


No one has said there is no strain native to Australia - what was said was:

Originally Posted By: tjlong
Medicalpages.com.au in one report says this, "In Australia, the main route of infection is hand-to-mouth, and the illness is becoming increasingly diagnosed due to changes in socio-economic factors (for example, growing number of toddlers in child care centres and increases in overseas travel to places such as South East Asia and India, where Giardiasis in prevalent)."

Giardia outbreaks in Australia aren't in animals from what I can tell, they are in people. It wasn't ORIGINALLY OCCURING in their environment. They are bringing it back from overseas is my understanding.


She gave her opinion based on her own research - and she only stated it, she did not try to "force" it on you to agree with or believe her. Please calm down.

Originally Posted By: SuggieMomma
So why is all this being brought in when I am only asking for cleaning advise from someone who knows what really kills giardia.

Why am I being put in a corner? I am being accused of having a terrible vet, poorly medicating them, being defensive and not taking any of the great advise... If you actually read the thread you will see all this is untrue. I feel like many are just piping in not having read through what was worked out and what wasn't. I didn't ask for an expert I asked for someone experienced in it to help me kill it.


The problem is simple -

(1) you asked what kills it - and every time someone tells you what worked for them to kill it, or what their vet recommended to kill it, you get upset if it does not perfectly match what you are doing or what your vet is saying. No one is attacking you - they are all doing their best at answering the question you asked, and you are getting defensive when their answers are not what you want to hear.

(2) We in the online glider community love our gliders - so anything new/different/or involving suggestions/opinions and we all tend to want to jump in with our own story, our own advice, or what we believe/feel/know "for ourselves"... but every time someone tries to share their experiences with you, you seem to be assuming that the person is "cornering and attacking you" when all they are trying to do is either help you with their story or just share it with everyone in general.

I recommend that you do the following:

(1)follow your vet's advice as to how to handle it - they are the trained, educated experts - not us people on Internet forums

(2)if something doesn't work, maybe get a second vet's opinion or get yours to consult with one of the recognized glider consulting vets like Tim Tristan

(3) look to the recommendations and stories shared in this thread as exactly what they are: shared advice and experiences that might help you if you need it or might just be interesting to read if you don't

Basically, don't read more into things than what is there - remember that on forums it is very difficult to truly get the "meaning" behind or "intent" behind some things that are "said". The spoken word provides the listener with tone and inflection cues that typing on the Internet does not - take everything with a grain of salt smile
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 06:53 PM

It is so EASY to read an emotion that isn't actually there into something that is typed. I am forever jumping down my kid's throats for what I "read" as attitude in a text message, only to have to yank my foot out of my mouth when they get their feelings hurt by ME!

I think we would all do well not to insert attitude, judgement, malice, anger... into what is typed on this forum. For the most part it doesn't happen because we all KNOW it is forbidden on GC. So everybody calm down and be NICE laugh
Posted By: tbull

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 09:07 PM

For anyone that doesn't know, it was my joey that Suggiemomma adopted. I had tested the joeys before they left. But it was just the office test, which I thought was OK, since there were no symptoms and I have never had a positive test before. :sorry: I was so wrong. The stress of the move brought it out enough to give a positive and get help.
( SuggieMomma's girl's twin brother tested positive first in his new home and his mom was fast on getting the info to me, so I could get it to the other parents to get their joeys tested ASAP. )

BTW: I had 10 joeys all adopted out within a month and all, but these twins have tested negative. grin I am hoping that means we caught it in time. But is a HUGE reminder to always retest your joeys when you get them home, with a lab giardia test, not just the vet office SNAP.

I took samples from all my cages in and they all tested negative. Still did the full "presumed positive" cleaning on all the cages, and quarantined the parent's cage. Waited a week and did another test on all the cages. Below in red is the email I sent out to all the parents that have gotten resent joeys from me.

My PM box is empty and I am FULLY open to any and all hints, tips, and suggestions that anyone that has had giardia ( glider, dog, cat or teenager wink ) in their home has to offer to help make this any easier on me or my suggies.
thanks

I just got back the results on Thunder and Lightning's second fecal test. I got the others back yesterday and all the other cages are negative again. Thunder and Lightning ( the ill joeys parents ) came back today showing 1 cyst. So, they are positive. The mystery is over. Except knowing where the parents got it, but I am not going to worry about that now.

They have been, and will continue to be quarantined. The vet said that the fact that I keep plexi-glass between my cages and clean my tent with Clorox wipes between cages is probably what kept the others from getting it.

He is calling in a RX for the Chicken flavored Flagyl for 7 on, 7 off, for 3 courses and will retest them, and all the others, after that to make sure the others haven't gotten it and that they are clear. Then it will be spot checks for a yr. As of now, we are only treating the infected cage, since the others have had 2 negatives and show no symptoms. Obviously, if ANY signs or symptoms show, everyone will be treated then.

He said that steam cleaning their cage everyday for the whole course of treatment will be necessary, I have plastic carpet runners under their cage ( all my cages actually to protect my carpet ) so I'm hoping I can just take the suggies out, scrub with bleach solution and then steam it where it is, instead of having to haul it into the bathtub and then have to bleach the bathroom everyday.
Posted By: sphynxie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 09:23 PM

I have two joeys from T and they tested negative and she let me know right away. Good luck everyone in getting rid of the Giardia. Blank happens. wink
Posted By: hwh4ev

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 09:27 PM

when you find out the cause will you let me know.
i wonder if your new cat could of brought it in? maybe a carrier, if there is such a thing with this parasite.

you both have my sympathy. what a nightmare.

regards,
nancy in detroit
Posted By: tbull

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 09:36 PM

Even though none of the other animals have any access to the glider's room, I had all my other animals tested with lab tests and they have all been negative also. dunno We can not figure out how my adults got it, but the vet said they have a very small case ( not his exact words, I was kind of freaked when I got the call ) since I had collected every poo for 2 days, yes, I sat by their cage with gloves and tounge depressors for 2 days, roflmao and they only found 1 cyst. They told him, "they thought, they saw one so held the sample for more intense testing", whatever that means. At least they found it. Chris R is owed a huge thanks for telling me to collect a larger sample over a few days and put them in a ziplock and refrigerate. It may have been missed for another 3 weeks until I retested again.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/30/11 09:45 PM

I just want to say again thank you EVERYONE for being so supportive through this. I think wiping down the tent helps too. It spred here because I was introing the Joey to a glider who is in another cage with another cagemate... And then we are to 4 sick gliders.

Irregaurdless I have bought one tent for each cage. The bleach scrub followed by steam and using colorsafe bleach in the wash seems to be working because it is not spreading. (Signs showed up fast after their intros and this is day six) so I am crossing my fingers that it is somewhat contained. When the other two got sick it was within 12 hours.

As far as kids and other pets if anything gets tummy upsets or any other signs I'd take them in right away too.
I had two of my boys tested because they played with the sick Joey non stop the first week all the way up till we found out she was sick, and their little boys (7 & 9) hygiene is not the first thing on their minds. They both tested negative. That was a fun test let me tell ya! They are not showing any signs but I am watching.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/31/11 12:06 AM

I have not been nor am I upset at all throughout this whole thing and I HAVE been following everyone's advise. This is why I am baffled that everyone is jumping in with an offensive stance. I ask that everyone please read from the beginning and stop just jumping in and assuming things.

Secondly I think there are two sides to many of these things being brought in to the discussion. I am just stating what I believe, as a discussion.. An opinion unrelated to how the care or treatment is given to the gliders.

I know that I am newer to cg and many of you are just backing up their friends. But please put things into perspective here.

She believes there is no Gairdia in Animals in Australia.
I believe Giardia is Zoonotic and has native strains in Australia.
Throughout this whole topic that is the only thing I have disagreed with.


I also have research and data to back up my theories. Does it make me upset she doesn't have the same belief... Nope... Is it going to chance any part of the cleaning or care for the gliders.. Nope.
Posted By: DCMuffin

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/31/11 12:38 AM

Hey everyone! Let's try to get back on track with this thread. SuggieMomma, you're looking for advice and help. Several members who have had experience with Giardia have given their advice and opinions. Obviously there are differing opinions - that's the beauty of this board, we can all have that.

I suggest that if you have been given advice by your vet that you trust and feel is working, continue to do that. This is turning into a boxing match that clearly isn't going to have a winner so let's stop the argument now and call it a truce. smile
Posted By: tjlong

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 03/31/11 04:14 PM

Quote:

She believes there is no Gairdia in Animals in Australia.


Suggiemomma, all I've been trying to stress is that I don't think our gliders are able to combat giardia as well as some animals because I have been told that giardia just isn't as prevalent in Australia. Do they have it? Yes. But not like we do or at least not the same strains that we see here. I was hoping to suggest you might want to boost their immune system and that is why I brought up. I also was told about that new treatment and posted that info in the hope it might help you.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/01/11 05:07 AM

Suggiemomma,

I'm just curious...but did you do the quarantine with your new joey or just go straight to introductions?
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/01/11 06:49 PM

SuggieMomma, it sounds like things are going well. You are doing a great job. thumb
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 05:37 AM

I quarantined for two weeks. I had gotten joeys from T before and they had three vet visits and two fecals. I only did one intro that happened to be the night before her brother tested positive. She still didn't show any signs for two more days. Her stools were a little soft but nothing out of the ordinary for changing her diet from the ensure diet to hpw.

Just goes to show you, you never know and as I said in an earlier post I am lengthening my quarantine to 6 weeks. I usually do four but i jumped the gun. It was bad I know but the other Joey had been alone for awhile and I had been niave thinking well I've never had issues before not like she is a rescue.... Bad bad idea...

I think the stress of meeting the new Joey is what "activated" the parasite also, so I am just speculating here but I doubt she would have shown signs until she had a little stress either way. (i think her brother showed signs earlier because of the stress of a flight... Again just speculation) After the intro is the only time she showed any signs of having this at all.

I don't know if you guys know this but I talked to my vet today. She told me ALL chinchillas have giardia. Odd fact huh.. Those houses don't bleach/steam everyday.. I wonder how many chinchilla owners unknowingly get sick? What's your take on that?



Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 05:46 AM

Oh I was gonna update until I saw the question, hehe...

Everyone is doing awesome... All normal poo's
Eating.. drinking .. Loving the extra mealies and yogurt.

I'm very very glad I have you guys and I'm sorry if I was abrasive I didn't mean to be. It has been stressful I hope you can understand.
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 06:01 AM

hug2 wink
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 06:25 AM

I hope that things continue to get better for you!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 07:05 AM

- tjlong

Originally Posted By: tjlong


Suggiemomma, all I've been trying to stress is that I don't think our gliders are able to combat giardia as well as some animals because I have been told that giardia just isn't as prevalent in Australia. Do they have it? Yes. But not like we do or at least not the same strains that we see here. I was hoping to suggest you might want to boost their immune system and that is why I brought up. I also was told about that new treatment and posted that info in the hope it might help you.


I fully understand this and I am very much in agreement, as I said my suggies have been in a bubble.. lol.. I really do not know how to boost their immune systems though, I don't want them to get filthy and I don't know of a vitamin.. what do the rest of you do? Do you think a boosted immune system could really prevent a parasite that was "introduced" to a glider? I'd like to think it could so I could prevent any future happenings.
I couldn't have done anything to prevent the initial one because I bought her with it. We are also talking about baby joeys and not adult gliders, so I am not sure what I could have done differently at this point. (aside from too soon intros)
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 07:35 AM

To Julie - (I tried to pm this but your box was full)

I am not grudging here but I just wanted you to know that I really did feel bullied from you. I am just letting you know so that you can be careful of your posts in the future.

If you read your post on the top of this page you write that my "I do not believe" is unacceptable whilst tjlong's "my understanding" is... it was just an opposing view, we both did research.

The rest after that if you re-read it you will see that it wasn't very nice or valid.

1) Every time someone told me what killed it, I tried it! Believe me, I got it all! I didn't get upset about what anyone said having to match me, the only thing I disagreed with at all was that there was no giardia strands that affect gliders in Australia.. (I do however believe it may be a different strand) I called multiple vets for their input and advise not just mine. If you actually read my posts you'd see that I was very grateful for and using everyone's advise, calling for many opinions etc..

2) I didn't feel cornered or attacked by anyone's experiences.. I felt it from how people handled disagreements. There are ways to handle them without being hurtful...

Perhaps you went a bit overboard?

I have no hard feelings toward you, and I am sorry for my part in this because as I said it has been stressful, and I could have handled things better as well.
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 08:00 AM

Aimee has already asked for this thread not to turn into a boxing match.

Originally Posted By: DCMuffin
Hey everyone! Let's try to get back on track with this thread. SuggieMomma, you're looking for advice and help. Several members who have had experience with Giardia have given their advice and opinions. Obviously there are differing opinions - that's the beauty of this board, we can all have that.

I suggest that if you have been given advice by your vet that you trust and feel is working, continue to do that. This is turning into a boxing match that clearly isn't going to have a winner so let's stop the argument now and call it a truce. smile


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Posted By: Dancing

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 03:10 PM

Quote:
so I am not sure what I could have done differently at this point.


The only thing different I can see is to have done a proper quarantine. This is why it is advised even when getting a glider from a well respected and experienced breeder/owner. You would not have been able to stop it from the new glider but you could have prevented the spread to your other gliders.

Giardia is nasty and difficult to get rid of. No one is denying that at all. But I want to point out that it is NOT going to happen with all gliders. I have had gliders over 12 years and (knock on wood) I've never had to deal with it here. I also have dogs, horses, birds, an iguana, and (used to have) cats. Not to mention the grandkids running in and out. I use "city" water (or in this case, county water) not bottled water. (biggest source for giardia contamination). I've had over 300 gliders through my home over the years. I KNOW I've been very very lucky.

Sadly it is the risk of bringing home or even just owning gliders that we have to accept.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 04:49 PM

It's not happening with all my gliders either the one I bought came with it and showed no signs of it. If you had properly quoted me I admitted to the, too early intros. Even if I hadn't the same gliders would have played in tent time the same night.( it was spred through microscopic feces residue in the tent they were in) I've changed that too each cage has their own tent now.
You can't get giardia from tap water.. It is natural water sources and/or extremely filthy living conditions so we are still trying to figure out where the breeders gliders got it.
If it was in tap water it would make international news and we'd all be alerted to boil all our water.
Becareful in thinking your gliders are immune.

I'm very happy you haven't had to deal with this and I hope you never do.
Posted By: sphynxie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 04:57 PM

All it takes is one fly, just one infected fly, to come in a poop on the gliders food and there ya go. My cats got giardia once, and it was in the middle of no where, no new animals in, they don't go outside ect, so it can just pop up from a random insect in the house, as flies CAN carry the cysts. Flies sit on and eat poop, so say said fly went out and sat on some infected deer poop then got into the house and sat on the food or even the cage bars that is it.

ETA: Feel free to google or pm for a links that flies can carry Giardia as well.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 05:30 PM

Yes, giardia CAN be in tap water.

According to the EPA
http://water.epa.gov/action/advisories/d...l_giardiafs.pdf

Quote:
Municipal waste waters likely always contain Giardia cysts. Giardia is distributed
worldwide in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.
It is even found in high quality water sources
with no municipal wastewater discharges. All
surface waters probably contain Giardia, and
whether cysts are detected depends largely on
the methods used to collect and analyze water
samples.
Posted By: sphynxie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 05:39 PM

Yes, I wish I could show you the articles I have access to but I can't, federal mumbo jumbo, Giardia is in tap water and they are doing some new things to treat for it, one new thing is UV light steralization, which obviously we can't use to treat pets. There are several studies going on right now on Giardia.

There was one study I read that showed that steaming clams did NOT kill Giardia. There are studies that say bleach does nothing, and studies that show it does. Studies that show that it can be killed by boiling and studies that show it can't. Basically there needs to be a ton of more research done, sadly it is just one of those things we don't understand very well. Can we say master thesis?

I will ask when I go to work what I am allowed to share but my guess is my boss will have no idea, and I would rather be safe then sorry, and don't worry its nothing like horrible facts or miracle cures, I can say that we basically don't know much.

I did ask 4 very smart men that I highly respect and here is what they had to say: They *THINK* that steaming Giardia dissinigrates the outter membrane of Giardia (it has 2) and makes it so that you can then kill it with cleaners. They say that they don't think bleach does the job, and recommend the following cleaning regiment: steam clean with the hottest *highest pressure* steam cleaner you can find. Step two soak with a cleaner that is a quantum ammonium. Repeat steam clean. Clean with Bleach as final step. Repeat. These men all have PHD's and there is one who is a parasite expert, but NOT a giardia Expert. One is mamaologist, but his major area of expertise is bats. I am keeping their names private.
Posted By: tbull

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 06:36 PM

Originally Posted By: SuggieMomma
It is natural water sources and/or extremely filthy living conditions so we are still trying to figure out where the breeders gliders got it.


Not trying to start an arguement or anything, but I feel I have the right to jump in here, since I am the breeder. I do not use natural water sources and my glider's cages / room has never been, nor ever will be dirty. I have never had a write up from any of my inspections ( all surprise inspections, so could not be prepared for ). In fact, my inspector is always very impressed with the glider's room and conditions. Since it was one cage out of 10, that showed 1 cyst in two days worth of poo, I do consider myself extremely lucky. Also, very happy that Roxy got her boy from me tested as soon as he got to her, and we were able to catch the infection quickly. We probably will never know how my cage got infected, the male was bred here and his parents are still testing negative. The female I bought from a breeder that has also tested the parents. They are testing negative as well.
Maybe it was a fly, SuggieMomma said it couldn't be, since it is winter, but we had a warm spell and did have a few flies in the house. I didn't notice any in the glider's room, but you never know.

What is important now, is that all the infected gliders are being treated, cages and supplies are being sterilized, and the gliders are getting better. ( Well, mine were never ill or showing signs, so they are just mad at me. upset ) And that we all got a huge wake up call about retesting, and that quarentine means separate toys, tents, pouches, EVERYTHING.

Thank you Mel, for asking your co-workers about ways to rid ourselves of this. I have a new steamer and will be following their recommendations about the steam, clean, bleach, steam again. hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 06:39 PM

Yeah I read all that too. Made me dizzy.. But municipal waste water and tap water are not the same.

I wonder how many suggies die mysteriously from this in our homes then. Mine showed no signs... If they really can get it from tap water. (I would assume it would have to sit awhile to allow the giardia to infest enough) another reason to clean out water scrub it out and give fresh water everyday.

My vet seems to be on that side too... It passes around all the time... Every chinchilla has it... If you go to mexico at all youll get it.. Etc

When I called my water company for info on cleaning they did say bleach is proven to clean it at a 4/1 ratio. And that it's not in our tap water or we'd be on boil alert.. But maybe they have to say that?
Posted By: Dancing

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 06:48 PM

From the same article

Quote:
Reported Giardia levels have ranged
from 10,000 to 100,000 cysts/L in untreated
sewage, 10 to 100 cysts/L in treated sewage,
and 10 or few cysts/L in surface water sources
and tap water. Cysts have also been detected
in cisterns and in wells contaminated by
surface water or sewage.


It only takes ONE viable cyst to infect.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 06:57 PM

Actually, Giardia is found around us all the time. We track it in on our shoes, if you go to a public swimming place, you have likely been exposed, some fruits and vegetables may carry it on their skin. People don't always wash hands after using the restroom, so yep - it can be on door knobs, shopping carts, etc. It is in our environment all of the time. It is a misconception that only water and an unclean environment are sources of infection.
Posted By: sphynxie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: SuggieMomma
I am not allowed to say dosages as per GC rules but she is giving 3 day panacur after the first 10 days of the flagyl we just aren't there yet. And the cysts were not hard to see at all that could be because they told me exactly what to look for.

They did get diarrhea and pot bellies that went away after two days treatment.

That's another thing that's contradictory many are saying it's often missed and underdiagnosed. It is very rare and some very common the giardia and the protiens die before it's sent out for a snap test and missed. It can only be diagnoised by an on the spot slide. I've heard it all!



They didn't get any sypmtoms?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 07:09 PM

Mine did yes right away within 12 hours! The girls who initially had it never shown any signs, and they had a severe infestation. I would probably have lost gliders had her brother who went to NC not shown any signs and a positive test. I was very lucky!

I can see where that'd be confusing I forget some don't know my story from the beginning. The infested joeys had no signs. If it wasn't for the other joeys new mom I don't think I'd have figured out what was wrong with mine (the one I introd her too) in time.

Sorry for the confusion hope that cleared it up.
Posted By: sphynxie

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 07:17 PM

Thanks, just trying to understand. It is just one of those things that we don't know much about, and not only does each species of animal react differently, but even indivudual animals within the same species. There are working on a project at my school right with parasites. There life cycle is so fast that they are getting them to evolve very quickly. For example the ones they are working with only breed at a certain temp, so they put two colonies at different temps and each colony evolved to be able to reproduce at the lower or higher temp. and are now genetically different from the begining parasites, weird huh? So it just goes to show that things like this are constantly changing, just like these other parasites evolved over a few MONTHS.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/02/11 07:37 PM

So here is my summery. Giardia is everywhere, it is only when conditions get poor enough for it to breed and contaminate feces that it becomes a problem and extremely contagious.

So I bring home a contaminated joey that shows no signs and make the poor judgment of the early introduction, and introduce her to my other joey that has been in a super sanitary bubble ... bam it gets sick and very quickly... and naturally his cagemate does too. (Which I am in a weird way grateful for because it exposed the parasite.)

The reason it is not spreading is because no one else has had access to her poo, and is still safe in their bubble.

Still up in the air about the bleach... the 4/1 bleach + steamer combo seems to be working. That combined with the 10 days flagyl 3 days panacur will hopefully cure these little guys completely in one to three rounds.

I will still have to re-check in a year to be sure, not intro anyone else or breed until their one year check up is clear.

Am I missing anything?
Posted By: DianeR

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/03/11 06:43 AM

Hi, I'm new here, so please excuse me for jumping right in. I'm a microbiologist by training (but a stay at home suggy-mommy) and I'll try to add a little bit of information about disinfecting items contaminated with Giardia lamblia.

First, let me say that I know you are working really hard and are doing everything right for your babies, SuggieMomma. The following is for general information, and perhaps to give you some options to make things a little easier.

The reason this is such a pest is because it is not a simple bacteria. It is a complex parasite that has the ability to encyst in the environment and persist in its ability to cause infection. It is the cysts that are so hard to kill.

Normal chemical treatments don't always work to kill this parasite, and even water treatment plants don't rely only on that. But the chemicals can be a part of an overall strategy for decontaminating/disinfecting with this organism. The organisms in a non-encysted state are killed by the disinfecting agents. Only the cysts are resistant.

A combination of bleach solution with iodine can be sprayed on all cage surfaces after the cages are thoroughly scrubbed down with detergent and rinsed. (Your vet can tell you the amount of bleach and iodine to add to the solution. Or just get a vet recommended commercial disinfection solution.) Don't just spray this on a dirty cage! Manual cleaning with a detergent is always necessary before disinfecting!

If you have long sunny days, UV rays are particularly damaging to Giardia cysts. I would thoroughly clean, then spray on the bleach/iodine (or vet) solution and then allow to sit in direct sunlight for at least one full day. Following this routine for a second day would be even better. This should be sufficient to kill any remaining cysts on the cage surfaces -- if there is enough direct sunlight.

I would not reintroduce the glider/s back into their cage/s until their medical treatment is complete, instead using a hospital cage (something easier to clean) for their housing.

Washing their bedding in hot water with detergent should sufficient to wash away the cysts. You can hang them to dry in the sun inside out and is perfectly fine for added security. You can clean the toys with detergent and hot water, or put them in a sock bag and run them through the dishwasher or clothes washer to wash away most of the cysts. Then spray them down with the disinfection solution and allow them to dry in the sun. Leave the toys in the sun, turning them several times to ensure all sides get UV exposure. You may need to leave them in the sun for multiple days to ensure all sides get enough exposure. Be aware that the UV may fade some plastics and fabrics, but it will also kill the cysts.

You can also construct a UV box with commercial UV bulbs, similar to those used to kill algae in Koi ponds. You will need to construct the UV light box so that none of the light can escape while it is on because looking at UV light can blind you and exposure to the UV can give you burns. These are the bulbs you will need, and you can contact them regarding constructing a light box: http://www.ultraviolet.com/lamp/sterlray.htm. Even 10 minutes of exposure is enough to kill 99.7% of any cysts exposed to this kind of UV. Just be sure to turn the items over and re-expose so that all sides are irradiated with the UV. And make sure you turn the light OFF before you open the box. If I were to construct one of these I'd put a window in the lid with some clear material that blocks UV rays so that I would always know when it was on. I'd also add a lock to the lid because I have two children still at home.

Steam cleaning the area around the cage is an appropriate step to take, as is prevention of recontamination during the treatment period.

Be sure to wear gloves and thoroughly wash your hands after handling the animals and their infected sleeping pouches, cages, etc., and don't forget to wash your own clothes in hot water with detergent.

Sorry this was so long! I hope it was helpful.

I think you are doing really good work with your babies and I just want to say hang in there. Your effort will pay off.

Diane

Edit: I just want to add this: Giardia is not part of a Glider's normal gut flora. It is a parasite! And though it can be there for a time without causing symptoms, it is never healthy and never normal for any creature to be hosting it. It is found in a small portion of wild sugar gliders, somewhere around 10%. But remember that Sugar Gliders in the wild do not have the extended life spans they have in well managed domestic settings. Giardia infection is always a disease, even when its course is mild.

And here is the unsettling thought of the day: Parasites are at the top of the food chain!

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/14/11 06:19 PM

Thank you sooo much everyone for your help and support!

All the gliders are testing negative and the toys and wheels are back in and in use! They were so happy they woke up mid-day to play and clicked away... the wheels were clearly missed!! Last night was my last micro cleaning session.

Things are getting back to normal. I bought bigger cages even.. from the two door Brisbane style to the giant two door ones from ebay. So, Id hate to go through that again and have to micro clean these ones!! (Lets see if I can get through assembly!)

I was sad to have to toss things but it was worth it, as nothing was spread to my other gliders or pets. But now I am so happy I did.

It is such a relief that I do not have to clean like that today!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/14/11 06:52 PM

DianeR - I am so sorry... I have been so busy I did not get a chance to read your post until today! It was very informative though I am keeping notes in case of a relapse or someone I know needs help... it sure wasn't fun!

Thank you everyone for being patient with me and helping me better understand Giardia! Hopefully it is over, but I am much better prepared now!

Parasites are at the top of the food chain! - Ewe, pretty soon flagyl will probably be desert to them!
Posted By: sunjana1

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/14/11 07:27 PM

Your dedication to your suggies and getting Giardia free makes you not only a veterinarian's dream client but also one of the best pet owners ever. Props!
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/15/11 12:19 AM

Great news that they're testing negative! You've done alot of hard work and kudos to you for being aggressive with it! Your babies can only benefit from that smile
Posted By: DianeR

Re: Does anyone have experience with Giardia? - 04/15/11 04:52 AM

You have worked so hard and it's paid off so well. I'm so happy for you! You are an inspiration to all of us! hug2

Diane
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