I asked this question in General Chat and did get a few answers (thank you!) but wanted to get more opinions from those involved in dog activities.
Rocky has Giardia. i feel (and plan to) that I must bow out of flyball classes/practice until he is given the all clear (as of now the vet has said to wait 3wks at least before re-testing).
Do you all agree I should stay away from dog classes (and dog parks, we only do leashed-walks and jogs)? Or given that it is so very common and transmitted thru stool (or infected water/ground if contamination occurs) would you let others know and go? The kicker is that it is VERY hard to get rid of this, so if this round doesn't work he could be out of flyball for two or more months.
Thanks in advance for the opinions!
ETA: the coach/leader of the practice, with who I am discussed this, says I should come to practice right away.
Personally I wouldn't take the dog and risk contaminating 1) other dogs and 2) the facility. I know it is a tough decision to make but I also know I would be devasted to find out that I somehow did something to harm another animal...particularly when it is easily preventable.
I have no experience with Giardia but here is what I read about Giardia at http://www.priory.com/vet/giardia.htm. I've highlighted important points to support the fact that you should not take this dog around other animals until he is healthy.
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How can infection, once present , be controlled?
Once infection is present in a kennels, control may be approached in two ways:-
1. identification, isolation and treatment of infected dogs.
2. mass treatment of all dogs.
Option 1 is only practical where a few dogs in a discrete area have been identified as being infected and where complet isolation is feasible, either within their own block or in a specific isolation block. Such isolation includes segregation of exercise areas and thes animals should be fed and cleaned after all others on the premises, preferably using separate cleaning and feeding equipment and separate staff if possible. Treatment of all dogs should commence on the same day when option 2 is adopted.
Thorough cleaning of all kennel area where infected dogs have access is essential. Once organic debris has been removed, thorough disinfection will help to further reduce the level of environmental contamination and reduce the risk of dogs becoming re-infected after the completion of treatment. Disinfectants containing quaternary ammonium compounds have been found to kill Giardia cysts at the manufacturers' recommended dilutions (dilutions of one disinfectant upto 1:704 were found to be effective at both low and high environmental temperatures). Efficacy of killing is increased by prolonged contact time, therfore disinfectant solution should be left for 20 minutes to half an hour before being rinsed off kennel or run surfaces. Since disinfection of grass runs is impossible, such area should be regarded as contaminated for atleast a month after infected dogs last had access.
Introduction of new dogs into the infected area should be avoided until the period of treatment and faecal samle checking has been completed. It should not be overlooked that some of thoe infected dogs may continue to excrete low numbers of cysts even after all treatments and examinations have been completed. It is therefore important that rigorous disinfection is maintained and a careful check is kept on the condition of all treated and introduced animals.