Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Giardiasis

Contributor(s): Joanna Hedley, Livia Benato

Introduction

  • Giardiasis is a rarely reported condition in the rabbit.
  • CauseGiardia duodenalisis thought to make up part of the rabbits' normal intestinal flora, with clinical problems rarely reported.
  • Signs: varying degrees of diarrhea occasionally leading to death.
  • Diagnosis: detection of cysts or trophozoites on fecal examination.
  • Treatment: metronidazole administration and supportive care.
  • Prognosis: good with treatment or clinical signs may self-resolve.

Print off the Owner factsheet onFaecal testing  Faecal testing   to give to your clients.

Presenting signs

  • Rabbits may be asymptomatic or present with varying degrees of diarrhea and associated signs.
  • Outbreaks of catarrhal enteritis leading to death have been attributed to giardiasis.

Geographic incidence

  • Worldwide.

Age predisposition

  • None proven, but it has been suggested that younger animals may be predisposed.

Public health considerations

  • Potential for zoonotic infection although no reports of rabbit-human transmission.

Cost considerations

  • Inexpensive to treat.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Sequelae

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers
  • Recent references fromPubMed andVetMedResource.
  • Pantchev N et al(2014)Occurrence and molecular typing of Giardiaisolates in pet rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs and ferrets collected in Europe during 2006-2012. Vet Rec175(1), 18PubMed.
  • Coletti M (2001) Klebsiella pneumoniaeinfection in Italian rabbits. Vet Rec149, 626-627.Animals. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med5(2), 115-124PubMed.
  • Johnson-Delaney C A (1996)Zoonotic parasites of selected exotic animals. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med(2), 115-142. 
  • Morrisey J K (1996)Parasites of ferrets, rabbits and rodents. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med5(2), 106-114.
  • Schimdt R.E (1995)Protozoal diseases of rabbits and rodents. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med4(3), 126-130.
  • Connaughton D (1989)Giardiasis zoonosis or not? JAVMA194, 447-451PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Saunders R A & Davies R R (2005)Notes on Rabbit Internal Medicine.Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. pp 20, 136.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002)Biological Characteristics.In: Textbook of Veterinary Medicine. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 12.
  • Olson M E & Buret M E (2001)Giardia and Giardiasis.In: Parasitic diseases of Wild Mammals. 2nd edn. Eds: Samuel W M et al. Iowa State Press, Iowa. pp 399-416.
  • Patton S (2000)Rabbit and Ferret Parasite Testing.In: Laboratory Medicine: Avian and Exotic Pets. Ed: Fudge A M. W B Saunders Company, Philadelphia. pp 358-360.
  • Pakes S P (1974)Protozoal diseases.In: The Biology of the Laboratory Rabbit. Academic Press Inc, New York. pp 279.
  • Flynn R J (1973)Parasites of Laboratory Animals.The Iowa State University Press. pp 21.


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