NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Pet owners already have a lot to keep track of when it comes to keeping their pet healthy and safe. And CBS 11 Meteorologist Jeff Jamison says the recent rainfall is adding another concern to the list.
North Texas just wrapped up the wettest Fall on record and the second wettest overall year on record and the ground has stayed pretty wet throughout.
The rain doesn’t just have effects on lawncare or farming, but also our furry friends.
“Because of the wet weather, we are seeing giardia more commonly in Dallas/Fort Worth,” explained Dr. Ashley Bellerd.
Giardiasis is a small intestine infection that’s caused by a parasite that can thrive in wet soils or standing water.
If a dog drinks water contaminated with giardia they can become ill. The more serious symptoms might include vomiting or diarrhea.
And unfortunately, giardia can survive for months — even in treated water.
“Giardia is also something that survives chlorination. So, in tap water for example, if our city water is contaminated the cysts aren’t destroyed by chlorine,” Bellerd said.
Dr. Bellerd also said it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your pet when letting them outside.
“Not letting your dog drink standing water — that’s just kinda a good thing overall, especially in areas like Southlake where we do have a lot of wildlife or in areas next to rivers like the Trinity River.”
As pet daycares become more popular it’s also a good idea to pay attention to the ground your pet will be playing on with friends.
“Daycares that have artificial turf… it’s a better idea because it doesn’t puddle water as does normal soil and grass, especially in the winter when the grass is dead,” Bellerd said.
Giardiasis can affect both dogs and cats.