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Why is it that my dog can drink from muddy puddles and mountain streams and not apparently get sick? I realise dogs DO get sick, but they certainly seem to have better immune systems than I do!

Dogs can, as you're aware, pick up things that would make us sick but go right through them partially in part due to the high acid ph in their stomachs. It's pretty close to an 8 which is as acid as it gets.

So while minor things might make us sick with diarrhea etc, most dogs guts kill off a lot of junk.

They will not escape giardia, coccida or other pathogens and protozoans. They will get sick from these and can pass those on to us. They can also get leptospirosis from stagnant ponds and puddles where deer, possums or raccoons have been near.

And they can pick up worms and nematodes this way. So yes, the occasional running stream won't pose much of a threat to them but other areas, not so much. And algae bloom in some lakes in fatal to them.

So watch what they drink or swim in!

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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