Kitten Giardia Treatment and Resistance

by Gina
(Macomb IL )

I have a 6 month old kitten and a 4 month old kitten. They have been diagnosed with Giardia. The test came back positive from a swab. My question is how long does treatment take to be effective? The kittens completed their first treatment (5 days worth approx) 6 days ago and still have diarrhea. Should I wait or should I contact the veterinarian now?

Vet Suggestion for Kitten Giardia Treatment and Resistance

Hi Gina,

Dealing with Giardia can be frustrating. It can be a normal resident within the gastrointestinal tracts of some animals not causing any signs of illness, so just because a Giardia test comes back positive it doesn’t mean the parasite is responsible for a pet’s symptoms.

Symptomatic cases of Giardia are most commonly seen in pets that have concurrent gastrointestinal disease such as other parasites, infections, immune disorders, and food intolerances. Your cats are young, so their immature immune systems may also be playing a role. Oftentimes kittens that have chronic or recurrent Giardia infections outgrow this tendency as they get older.

Update your veterinarian now regarding your cats’ lack of response to treatment. Several different treatment options for Giardia are available. The most commonly prescribed are fenbendazole for 3-5 days, metronidazole for 5-10 days, and febantel for 5 days. Your vet may want to try a second course of treatment with a different medication or recheck the cats to make sure they don’t have another condition that is complicating their recovery.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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