So after I explained to Dr. Sergio Tailor’s symptoms, he took a sample of fresh feces from Tailor’s anus (I know you’re all grossed out now) and he diluted it in a liquid then put a drop on a test bar (image below). The barely there, thin, red line means that he has a few Gastrointestinal Parasites. Tailor has Giardia.
Here’s what I found out about Feline Giardia:
1) Feline Giardia is a small parasite that lives in a cat’s small intestines.
2) It causes diarrhea and sometimes blood in the stool.
3) It is treatable and can be controlled.
4) A cat can get Giardia by eating food (mostly raw meat) that have Giardia cysts.
5) Feline Giardia can infect people and other cats through cysts that are passed out in the stool.
So now we’re taking precautions with cleaning the litter, cleaning Tailor himself, and his water and food bowls. With the medicine Dr. Sergio gave him, hopefully, he’ll recover in no time. Here’s how he looks after taking the medicine, he was furious! (The foaming and saliva is normal from the medicine, he wasn’t hurt.)
|“Why are you doing this to me?”|
|“You’re so gonna pay for this!”|
|Trying to change the taste in his mouth!|
Now, this made me think of explaining the common misunderstanding of a certain feline parasite’s effect on us humans. In Kuwait, it is thought that a woman who owns, takes care of, or lives with a cat can become infertile. In other words, if you come in contact with a cat daily, you can’t have children. That is a mistake most people here make that leads to families or ladies giving up their pet cats or being terrified of cats because they think cat hair causes infertility.
The truth is, there is a feline parasite that can harm the fetus, a baby, while it is still in its mother’s womb. The parasite is called Toxoplasma gondi. If the mother is infected before getting pregnant, she will become immune to it and so will the fetus during pregnancy. However, if the mother is infected during pregnancy, it can cause abortion or even brain damage to the fetus.
Toxoplasma gondi, just like Giardia, is passed out in the stool. Therefore, the precautions are the same:
1) Wear gloves and mouth masks while cleaning your cats’ litterbox.
2) Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the litterbox.
3) If you are pregnant and there is someone else who can clean the litterbox, let them do it.
4) Clean the litterbox more frequently.
Of course, taking your cat to the vet regularly for check-ups and as soon as you can if you suspect your cat is sick, as well as making sure that your cat always has fresh, clean food and water available will keep you and your cat safe from infections.