Dear Dr. Fox: My bulldog mix has had diarrhea on and off since December. We brought a fecal sample to our vet, and it tested positive for Giardia. He’s been treated with a bland diet (boiled chicken and rice), along with Metronidazole every 12 hours.

After he finished the meds and bland diet, I took another sample in, and it was negative, but the bouts of diarrhea continue.

I don’t know what to do. He is a happy dog and looks healthy, too. — A.A., Gaylordsville, Connecticut

Dear A.A.: Giardia can seriously debilitate dogs — as well as humans — and can cause serious damage to the intestinal wall, which can lead to other problems.

The parasite may not show up in fecal samples. Infective cysts can be present in standing water and the feces of other animals, notably deer.

My own dog had a persistent Giardia infection, even after the local humane society released her as “parasite-free” after treatment with Metronidazole. Effective treatment was achieved using a combination of Metronidazole and Fenbendazole (Panacur). You should discuss this treatment regimen with your veterinarian.

In addition, I would give your dog digestive enzymes and probiotics (available from drug stores). Give him half the human dose, twice daily before meals. Also consider transitioning him to my home-prepared diet, adding a tablespoon of canned pumpkin to his twice-daily meals.

Dear Readers: It is evident from the United Nations’ 2019 IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services that we have yet to learn to share this planet with other intelligent life-forms and consciousnesses.

This would be for our own good, which is bound to that of other beings in the life community, even if we do not respect and care for the least of them. Without the ethics of respect and care, we are less than human, and have become the most dangerous species on Earth. Inhumanity has no bounds — ecologically, spiritually or ethically.

I did not foresee, in my 1980 book “One Earth, One Mind,” how rapidly dystopias and planetary dysbiosis, signaled by climate change and a plethora of new pests and diseases, would arrive. Now, almost four decades later, we are well into the Anthropocene (human-centered) age, and we are awakening to the tragedy of our current reality and the challenge to either evolve or perish.

Respect and care can awaken compassion and empathy, which can extend into bioethics and efforts like the One Health movement, now endorsed by the U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The British Veterinary Association is now promoting the benefits of sustainable consumption and the concept of “less and better” farmed animal produce for animal-welfare and sustainability reasons. In other words, consumers are encouraged to eat less produce from animals, and only from those raised humanely.

Governments under corporate control and corrupted by vested interests cannot be blindly relied upon, and must be held responsible when they resist initiatives driven by reason, sound science, ethics and justice.

California lawmakers to consider funding pet care at homeless shelters: A bill proposed in the California Senate would allocate $5 million to homeless shelters to pay for basic veterinary care, food, shelter and supplies for pets whose owners have no home.

“If we can have more pet-friendly housing, and housing that supports the needs of pets, we will actually bridge the gap between social services and animal health care so we can find a larger solution to help those in need,” said Geraldine D’Silva, director of the San Diego Humane Society’s PAWS program. (KPBS-TV/KPBS-FM, San Diego, 5/21)

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