Coccidiosis in Pets

Coccidiosis is more common in young cats and dogs.

Coccidia is an intestinal  protozoan parasite seen in dogs and cats, most commonly seen in young pets under stressful conditions such as in kennel or pet store situations.  In fact, low numbers of coccidia are present in the digestive tracts of healthy pets.  During periods of growth or stress, these parasites may overgrow causing clinical signs of diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight loss.   Transmission may also occur through the feces of affected pets to other nearby animal.

Coccidiosis is most commonly diagnosed by detecting the characteristic eggs on fecal exam.  While some pets may develop severe and even bloody diarrhea, treatment is usually highly effective, and most commonly includes drugs of the sulfa class such as Albon.   On occasion vets have used Metronidazole, which is also effective in some cases.  Most healthy adult pets usually do not have problems with these parasites.  If an infection is detected in adult pets, I will usually place these animals on a good source of probiotics and enzymes such as NaturVet Digestive Enzymes to help strengthen the immune system of the gut. .

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5 Comments

  1. I have several hundred rabbits and cavies. I do occasionally get litters that have coccidiosis. I have been treating them with Corid (amprolium 9.6% Coccidiostat) with very good success. I am mixing it in gallons of water but have lost my formula. I usually treat 5 days on 5 days off and 5 days on. Do you have the best mixture for this. I was thinking it was 2 tablespoons per gallon but my son was thinking it was 2 ounces per gallon. Would the mixture be safe for the chickens as well as the dogs? The dog does drink out of the chicken and rabbit bowls sometimes when I have the doors open. Thank you.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Sorry I dont have any experience with this. Perhaps check with 1800petmeds pharmacist Gary Koesten.

  3. Can you tell me what causes a of litter of puppies to have Coccidiosis or how it can be prevented? Thank you

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 8, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Usually conditions of crowding in pet stores or from shelter/kennel situations, this parasite will overgrow in digestive tract. I also find that immune stresses like overvaccination also cause overgrowth of this parasite.

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