Coccidiosis- Protozoan Parasite In Dogs


Coccidiosis- Protozoan Parasite In Dogs

Coccidiosis- Protozoan Parasite In Dogs

Coccicia is protozoan (one-celled) organisms that can infect the intestine.

The disease, �coccidiosis,� most often affects young puppies and kittens but can infect animals of any age. It is seen most often in puppies and kittens that come from places where large numbers of animals are housed together, such as dog stores and animal shelters.

Older animals often do not show clinical signs of the disease unless they become stressed.

Even though no clinical signs may be present, if the dog is infected, it can still be a �carrier� capable of spreading the infection to other animals.


Symptoms Of Coccidiosis:

Clinical signs of the disease include

  • diarrhea,
  • dehydration,
  • weight loss, and
  • loss of appetite.

Central nervous system signs, such as seizures, can be seen in the advanced cases.

Be aware this disease may severely weaken your dog, making it more susceptible to other diseases at the same time or in the near future.


Diagnosis Of Coccidiosis:

Diagnosis of coccidiosis is confirmed by finding oocysts (eggs) of the organism in the bowel movements. These oocysts are very small and it will require microscopic examination of the feces to detect them. Sometimes they are found on routine internal parasite examination even though your dog may not be showing clinical signs of diarrhea.

The disease is spread and contracted by animals licking their feet after the feet have been contaminated or eating out of contaminated food dishes or water bowls. For this reason, sanitation is a very important aspect of control.

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Coccidiosis- Protozoan Parasite In Dogs
Coccidiosis- Protozoan Parasite In Dogs

Treatment Of Coccidiosis:

Treatment requires specific drugs which kill the organism. One such example is Albon;  however, there are other drugs available also.

Good nursing care and fluid consumption are also very important. In severe cases, hospitalization and fluid therapy may be required to save your dog’s life.

Prognosis is good provided treatment is initiated fairly early. Severely dehydrated dogs require very intensive therapy to be saved from death.


Prevention And Control Of Coccidiosis:

Control of the disease is through the maintenance of good hygiene and sanitation. It is important to maintain a sanitary environment by removing all dog feces from the area on a daily basis.

Food dishes should be washed daily.

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