Giardia and Puppy Resorption

by LL

Reader Question on Giardia in Dogs

I live in an area surrounded by streams. My dogs test on and off for giardia which I treat with Marquis Ponzuril and Panacur regularly. I have bred my dogs and at times have noticed a decreased litter size. I was curious if the presence of giardia and coccidiosis in a pregnant female has been studied; specifically, does the presence of these protozoa cause resorption of puppies before birth?

Advice from Our Veterinariain


I have not seen any reports of Giardia or Coccidia causing fetal resorption in dogs. A few cases related to Toxoplasma, another type of protozoan parasite, have been reported, but Toxoplasma tends to be a more systemic (widespread) infection while Giardia and Coccidia limit themselves to the intestinal tract. That said, stress of any kind can certainly have an adverse effect on a dog’s pregnancy so I cannot say for sure that these parasites are not playing some role.

I am not exactly sure what you mean by “decreased litter size” since a wide range of litter sizes can be normal. To confirm that fetal resorption is occurring, you would need to have an ultrasound performed early in the pregnancy to count the fetuses and then count them again either later in the pregnancy with another ultrasound or at the time of birth.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

Read more about Giardia in dogs here.

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