Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Dog Poop, Giardia, and You, From Andre Of "When Hounds Fly"

With the spring thaw, we are now paying the price for all the negligent dog owners who decided that poop in snow was "invisible" and didn't require picking up.
Here's a scary fact - upwards of 7% of all dogs in North America have giardia - most don't show symptoms.  In Pisa, Italy, researchers collected poop samples at dog parks and found 31% of the samples contained giardia!  This is why picking up dog poop is a serious matter - it is a health risk to everyone, including people.

What can you do to prevent the spread of giardia, and keep you and your family safe?

- Pick up after your dog, always.
- Thoroughly wash your hands after handling your dog or returning from the dog park
- Clean your dog thoroughly after coming back from an off-leash area
- Do not let your dog drink from puddles or communal sources of water (even dog water bowls - except for the ones at When Hounds Fly, since we clean them daily and ill dogs are not allowed at school)
- Call your dog away from sniffing or interacting with poop

For adult dogs, a giardia infection is something that can pass either by itself or with medication.  For puppies, giardia can be quite serious and can lead to death.  Just another reason to keep your puppy away from the dog park until your vet advises it's safe.

And for those of you who were diligent with your poop scooping all winter long - this poem is for you;

Poem for winter in Cranbury Park
Ellen Tully (KPA CTP)
As I walk through wintry weather
I think of them – dog walkers clever.
As I walk through snow and ice
I think of them – dog walkers nice.
As I walk through rain and sleet
I think of them – dog walkers neat.
I think of those dog walkers, kind,
Who did not leave the poop behind.
When ice and snow begin to melt
We’ll rue the poopy hand we’ve dealt,
Deplore the nasty smells we’ve smelt,
Scrape our shoes and loudly curse.
But things, my friends, could be much worse
Indeed they could be quite adverse
Without that band of walkers kind
Who did not leave the poop behind.

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