Pet owner concerned about dog park in Draper after vet treats several animals for giardia

DRAPER, Utah -- A local dog owner is worried other dogs may become ill with giardia, a parasite that damages intestines.

“He loves it here,” said dog owner Heather Evans as she petted her 17-month-old, 62-pound white Golden Doodle, Jax. “This is a great dog park; we’ve made lots of friends here.”

Evans had been taking Jax to Dayland Dog Park four times a week until last week. For about a week before that Jax was suffering from diarrhea. Then last week at the park it got worse.

“We were here early last week and there was a lot of blood in his stool," Evans said.

She told her husband, Fox13’s Good Day Utah anchor Dan Evans, about her concern. She took the sample from the dog park and went over to a local veterinarian to examine Jax. The test came back positive for giardia.

“They immediately asked if I was down the street here at the dog park and I said, ‘yes,’ and they said they’ve received a dozen in the last week with dogs with giardia who had been playing in the water at Dayland Dog Park," Evans said.

The veterinarian asked not to be on camera, but did confirm with Fox 13 that he had seen at least a dozen dogs with the same illness and all of them had been playing at the same park. He also said the water is where giardia would be contracted.

Evans wants Draper City to test the water and post warning signs at the park alerting dog owners.

Fox 13 talked with Draper City about the issue. The City spokesperson said the city was going to start a public educational campaign about giardia and how to keep your dogs protected.