Coccidia in Dogs and Cats

Sick Dog

Coccidia usually affects younger pets – puppies and kittens. It doesn’t occur often in adult dogs and cats and usually gets better without treatment.

Coccidia is a tiny parasite that causes diarrhea. In some cases, diarrhea can be mild, in others it can be severe. Symptoms are watery diarrhea, sometimes with blood, weakness, weight loss and dehydration.

The coccidia organism is very common. Puppies and kittens that are ill, newly adopted, have compromised or immature immune systems are more prone to the parasite. An infestation of roundworms can exacerbate the situation.

Untreated diarrhea can lead to serious dehydration, susceptibility to other diseases and even death.

Effective antibiotcs such as sulfadimethoxine, trimethoprin-sulfa, furazolidone and amprolium are used treat the organism’s infestation and begin working in a matter of a few days. When treatment is completed, a fecal examination is recommended to make sure all is well. Recovering pets can become carriers.

While coccidia is transferable to other pets, healthy adult animals usually don’t have any problems. Wash down infected quarters daily with boiling water or a safe cleanser. Keeping your pet’s area clean and removing feces regularly help to cut down on infestation.

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