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Questions about cryptosporidium.

Species: Dog
Breed: golden retriever
Age: 1-2 years
Vet told me dog has cryptosporidium
She had diarrehea and vomit but lasted 24 hours and has been fine every since.
Vet wants to re-do stool test and also submit stool from my other golden who is 8 (to see if he is a carrier - or just to be safe - he was never sick)
Shaylea is perfectly fine, great stool, eating, playing
Do we still treat - as I understand from internet there is no known effective drug. My vet mentioned something (I'm in Canada) that he would use something you sprinkle on food.
I have to go back - that's all I know and I'm scared and confused as was told humans can get it and we could get our stool tested.
Mostly I want to know if there are long term bad effects or does it clear on it's own or is this a lifelong problem - do I have to keep getting stool tests for dog - each one is about 245.00 dna - She goes to doggie daycare twice a week but have stopped fo now. It is very clean place and highly recommended.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Carol and thanks so much for your question!

I'm sorry to hear that Shaylea has crypto. It is definitey not a common parasite to have. However, it is something that needs to be taken seriously as it can cause quite serious illness.

While some dogs will come in contact with crypto and eventually clear the disease on their own, I would still recommend treating Shaylea and possibly your other dog as well. The main reason to do this is because of the potential for spread to humans.

While crypto can be spread to humans, the good news is that usually the only people who get this condition are those who are immunosuppressed such as people with AIDS. It is quite uncommon for a relatively healthy individual to get it. *IF* someone in your family was to get it, you would definitely know as it causes very severe cramping and diarrhea, but again, it is unlikely to happen.

It sounds like your vet wants to treat with a medication called tylosin as it is a powder that is sprinkled on the food. I think this is a reasonable place to start. Another treatment is an antibiotic called azithromycin. This drug is considered to be a little more effective than tylosin but is more expensive. Sometimes a vet will use a combo of these drugs and possibly one other medication. However, there are some dogs that never completely get rid of crypto. It seems that in most cases though they do well after treatment and have no further problems.

I had to do some research to find out whether you can expect your dog to be contagious for life. The current research suggests that a dog usually sheds the cysts for anywhere from a few days to 80 days. There is the occasional dog that can shed the cysts intermittently for life but this is not the norm.

And yes, the DNA test is definitely the recommended one. The other, less expensive tests are not very accurate.

I hope that helps! If I haven't completely answered your question, just hit reply and let me know.

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

One more thing -
If my other dog does not HAVE it upon stool samples, do u think he should be treated?
Are there any side effects from tysolin or azithromycin?
I asked the doggie daycare and no other dog had or is having diarreah - I'm wondering if she did get it there -I really need to leave her there once or twice a week -
It's a dilemma because don't want to fix her up and get her sick again although she has been going there for a year -
Ok ...thanks!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

If this were my case and your other dog's stool sample tested negative for crypto I would not elect to treat him.

Both Tylosin and azithromycin are quite safe to use. Some dogs with azithromycin get some mild stomach upset, but that's about it.

You will likely never know where your dog picked this up! I think there is a good chance that it will be just a one time thing though, especially if you go through with treatment.

Hope she does well!

Dr. Marie.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for the bonus! I wish you and your pups the best!
Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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