A parasitic disease associated with backpackers drinking brackish water has recently been on the mind of the animal community in Davis.
At the end of last month, Yolo County warned in a press release that giardia, an intestinal parasite found in humans and animals, had been found in four dogs from a Davis rescue shelter kennel.
The kennel in question is The Dog Spot Rescue, Rehabilitation & Rehoming Center in West Davis, which brings dogs to the Davis Farmers Market for adoption.
Wayne Taniguchi, supervising environmental health specialist for the Yolo County Health Department, said county staffers were inspecting the kennel and saw dogs with diarrhea, which is usually a sign of giardia.
The Dog Spot kennel director Kate Montgomery said giardia is a common concern in shelter dogs and noted that she always treats any medical condition a shelter dog may have.
“I have worked very hard to earn the Dog Spot a good reputation,” Montgomery said. “If we are not being of service, our community will let us know.“
So far they have received over one hundred letters of support, Montgomery said.
“The Dog Spot community has been overwhelmingly supportive,” she said.
Montgomery said Dog Spot is willing to comply with all legal regulatory laws and actions, and hopefully they can remedy the situation soon.
At the kennel, despite the Yolo County health department press release, everything is business as usual, with rescued dogs coming in from many local regions, said Montgomery.
At the Davis Farmers Market, it’s a different story.
Randii MacNear, market manager for the Davis Farmers Market, said the Yolo County Health Department notified the market about giardia found locally. They asked the market to post signs notifying customers, MacNear said.
“We haven’t received any complaints [from market-goers],” MacNear said, in regard to the recent cases of giardia.
As a precaution, the Farmers Market is taking a month-long break from all animal adoption groups throughout April. They will use the month as a discovery phase for market operations, MacNear said.
Montgomery said she is sad that The Dog Spot won’t be at the market for a while. They have been going each Saturday since July 2008.
“We enjoy the Farmers Market,” she said. “It’s fun, it’s community.“
Taniguchi said he is concerned that there may have been people who touched and played with the dogs from the Dog Spot at the Farmers Market. Taniguchi said there can be a lag time before signs of a communicable disease, such as giardia, are present. People concerned that they may have come in contact with a diseased animal should go to their regular physician. Dogs should go to their veterinarian. Giardia is spread through the ingestion of fecal matter.
“Giardia causes prolonged diarrhea – something you wouldn’t want to have,” Taniguchi said.
SASHA LEKACH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.