Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.


Why may my dog or cat have diarrhea you ask?  It is possible that he or she may be infected with a type of parasite called Giardia.  Giardia is a protozoan parasite that occurs worldwide.  Giardia even affects humans and is primarily acquired from other humans through contaminated drinking water while swimming in lakes or swimming pools.  It appears that transmission from dogs and cats to humans is rare.  Even so, at Full Circle, we believe that very young children or adults with an otherwise compromised immune system should consider limiting their exposure to Giardia- infected pets.

Transmission of Giardia occurs from fecal-contaminated water, food, contaminated objects or through self-grooming.  The cysts, called Trophozoites, attach to the surface of the small intestine which results in an inability to digest food properly and ultimately diarrhea.  Dog strains of Giardia are known to affect cats and cat strains are not known to affect dogs.

At Full Circle Veterinary Hospital in Dartmouth we can test your pet for Giardia by examining a fresh sample of stool with a microscope as well as performing a specific diagnostic test using fresh stool.  Giardia cysts can be difficult to see with a microscope and therefore both tests are usually recommended.


Treatment usually consists of a couple of different types of medication however; the efficacy of medication used to treat Giardia is sometimes only 50-60%.  For this reason we also recommend using a probiotic as well as bathing your pet to remove fecal debris and associated cysts.  We also recommend daily removal of fecal material from your yard and litterbox.  Outside areas such as grass, soil, etc. are difficult to decontaminate.  Inside areas can be steam cleaned and commercially available disinfectants can be used.  Always allow areas to dry completely after cleaning.  It is also important to practice good hygiene with hand washing after use of the toilet and before feeding or handling pets in the case of a human who has contracted Giardia and hand washing after handling pets that are infected.


By: Dr. McPherson


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Last updated: June 5, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective June 5, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes Canine Rehabilitation Services, Animal Chiropractic, TCVM Consultations, Bloodwork for Referral Services, Wellness Exams, Vaccines and more!



If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives Inc.