Can dogs get beaver fever?

Can dogs get beaver fever?

Yes, dogs can get beaver fever, a nasty disease with symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fatigue. Beaver fever can be pretty unpleasant, but typically will run its course without intervention. Dogs can get it the same way humans often do: by drinking water that contains giardia, a single-celled parasite that is transmitted through the feces of infected animals. Since beavers live in the water, they are one of the chief transmitters, hence the name of the disease.

Dogs (or humans, for that matter) that ingest infected water won’t necessarily get sick. It takes anywhere from 10 to 100 giardia cysts to establish an infection, and your dog’s natural resistance to disease can ward it off, just as yours can. In addition, research is beginning to show that different strains of the parasite are restricted to different species: Water that makes you sick might just leave your dog thirst-quenched.

Even if your dog has ingested a significant amount of an infecting strain, it’s very possible that you’ll never know, simply because dogs aren’t as good as humans at communicating that they’re ill. He may experience stomach cramps, but who can tell? And he may sneak off into the back 40 and leave some telltale traces, but he certainly won’t be in the outhouse for hours the way an infected human might.