This letter is in regard to the Payson Humane Society's temporary closure due to Giardia. It was stated in the paper that all the dogs are OK to adopt and that we have cleared the animals of this problem. This was a misstatement, and I would like to clarify the current shelter situation.
Giardia is an organism that occurs naturally in the environment and water supplies, but can also be seen where dense populations of animals coexist. Many breeding facilities, pet stores and shelters have problems from time to time with this organism. In some facilities the number of infected animals nears 100 percent. Giardia can also be present in normal, healthy animals that show no clinical signs of problems. Some of these clinical signs may include foul smelling, yellow diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and reduced appetite.
Currently there is no treatment that is 100 percent effective in clearing Giardia infection. Some animals will benefit from the Giardia vaccination, while others may benefit from treatments once they are less stressed and away from other animals. Some animals may also become re-infected within a short amount of time, making this organism difficult to treat and to clear from animal populations.
The Payson Humane Society continues to do the best they possibly can with regard to the treatment and control of this organism. The PHS animals are being care for appropriately and the animals will be treated on a case-by-case basis by local veterinarians. If your animal develops any symptoms, please consult your veterinarian.
Dr. Danielle Hettler D.V.M, B.S.; Dr. Nicole Demetre D.V.M.; Star Valley Veterinary Clinic, P.C.