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5994 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  hihihishite
Well... turns out that Tex Buckaroo Hufflepuff is a sneaky one. Since I've had him, he's done a wonderful job of painting poop murals on the walls and mashing it into his wheel, so it's been difficult to get a good sample. I had brought what I could find to the vet previously... had to collect for days. And it came up negative. Since what I could see of his poops were nice and brown and he was active and maintaining weight, we figured we were in the clear. I dropped quarantine after a month.

This happy existence all changed when I found giant mushy diarrhea poops in his hedgiebag with him a few days ago. I scooped them up in a jar hoping it was just a fluke. Happened again the next day, so I scooped them up. I checked on Satin as I usually do and found her with messy poops. Scooped those up and called the vet. We made an appointment and I brought in both hedgies with A LOT of messy poo in small jars.

Guess what the vet found in Tex's poo? Yep. A nice smiley face. She noted it's very small and difficult to see, so it *might* not be giardia, but sure seemed like it to her... particularly given the symptoms and the absence of finding anything else. Satin's poo didn't turn up any, but we figure it's likely she has it too. Their poop looks identically bad... smells identically bad...

Poor little fuffers..

So now I'm super-duper cleaning EVERYTHING. And get to medicate two hedgies. Mind you, I've never seen the inside of Tex's mouth... he's just so private in his way (beyond spreading poop crumbles all over his wheel). So this should be a hoot.

They're both on meds for the next 5 days starting in 10 minutes... make that 9...

I tried a quick search for an "idiot's guide to giardia" but didn't have too much luck. Perhaps I'm a poor searcher. Any advice you can offer in terms of making sure I'm cleaning their belongings correctly would be much appreciated.
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Good ole' Giardia.

Comes mostly through the water system. Isn't worth treating unless there are symptoms (as in, if it's picked up in a random fecal and there isn't any diarrhea, don't bother with meds). It's also usually self-limiting and, if you can provide supportive care, the body will take care of it by itself. UNLESS the body is stressed or ill, then it won't and you should medicate. Activated charcoal can be used to help control diarrhea, as can Pet Pectin. I'd keep them both in my first aid kit from now on because you'll need them.

Giardia will remain in the stool forever. Often at sub-clinical levels but reappearing during times of stress or secondary to another illness.

Unless you've had a husbandry issue and not practiced good sanitation between the two hedgies, there's a chance that the giardia came from your water and wasn't passed from Tex. Especially since they both had a common onset time. Even chemically treated public water can have giardia in it because it's as hard as the dickens to filter out and giardia forms spores that are resistant to a lot of chemicals. A certain level is considered acceptable water quality. If you're worried about it, boil their drinking water for 5 minutes and then cool it. Wash water bowls and food bowls in hot soapy water with a cup of bleach added. Do not rely on the dishwasher to kill things off, even the sanitize setting.

Do what you can to keep them eating and drinking. Adding a second water bowl with chamomile and mint tea or water with honey is a good way to encourage drinking. Sprinkling 1/4 of a child's chewable vitamin c tablet on their food can help boost the immune system. Don't forget the probiotics.
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Vitamin C is water soluble. Any extra not used by the body is excreted so it's safe to give daily.
hihihi****e said:
Personally I think you should only give the tablets when they seem unwell. Too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea and possibly other problems too. I would try to give something with a natural source of vitamins rather than supplements as they don't absorb as well and can be harsh on the body.
You need mega doses of C to cause diarrhea and supplements work as well, or often better, than natural sources. Using oranges as an example, the natural source can cause oral ulcerations as well as skin erosion and upset stomach, the children's chewable in the dosage I suggested will do none of the above.
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