Giardia are single-celled parasitic organisms that infect many types of animals around the world. Humans can become infected as well, but it is rare for Giardia from dogs and cats to transmit to people, and the same is true for transmission between dogs and kitties.
Organisms are passed into the environment in feces and once outside the body, they turn into hardy tiny cysts that can survive for months. Once they are ingested by a new host (for example from contaminated water, or a dog licking her feet after walking in the grass) the shell dissolves and every cyst releases two infectious organisms. Once free from the cyst, Giardia "swim" around inside the host's intestines until they find a good spot to feed and become attached to that area. Once there, they can move around in different parts of the intestines looking for different nutrients.
History of the Breed
The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural breeds of cats in North America. It is the official state cat of Maine, hence the name, Maine Coon. No one knows for sure the exact origins of this breed, but likely it was ship cats that intermingled with local cats on ports of call along the eastern coast of the United States.
Maine Coons are noted for their large bone structure and luxurious coat. The males can reach 15-25lbs, and females 10-15lbs. They are slow growing and don’t reach their mature size until they are 3-5 years old. Their coat is soft and silky, and their tail puffy and raccoon-like. They come in a variety of colors, with the most common color being the brown tabby. They are also gentle and friendly in nature. They are loyal to their families, and tend to be relaxed around other cats, dogs and children.