We've had two of reports of pooches diagnosed with Giardia in the last two weeks.
Giardia is a parasite that thrives in the moist Pacific Northwest climate, enjoying the moist grasses at the park, your back yard, and the hind ends of pooches who are carriers. This nasty parasite plays havoc within the intestinal tract, often (but not always) causing diarrhea that is yellow-green, bubbly, and extremely stinky; for some dogs, there are no symptoms, most dogs will experience intermittent diarrhea, and for some unlucky pooches, the symptoms can be much more extreme.
Our wranglers are highly vigilant and if we see a suspicious poop, we make a point of identifying and segregating the source of said poop, collecting a usable sample if possible, and contacting the owner to bring the pooch and the sample to the vet for confirmation of the diagnosis and treatment as necessary. Dogs who have been diagnosed with Giardia are typically treated with a course of antibiotics, and usually experience very quick results, although it is possible for recurrence if the dog's environment is the source of the contagion. Once the vet has cleared the pooch for return to Scampers, we're delighted to have them return, but until the vet has a clear fecal report, segregation from other is very important. Giardia is highly contagious, can be passed from dog to dog, and from dog to human.
At Scampers, our cleaning protocol is designed around preventing the spread of Giardia, based on the protocol recommended by the King County Board of Health. We use a disinfectant spray as we clean up each and every time a dog poops, and at the end of each day, we thoroughly disinfect all surfaces, including the pavement, flooring, fencing, play equipment, etc., indoors and outdoors, using a bleach solution and/or our disinfectant spray.