What is coccidiosis? Coccidiosis is a common protozoan disease found in puppies. Adult dogs are not immune. It is severe in nursing puppies. Coccidiosis in puppies is a common problem in the southern United States. It occurs in connection with filth, over crowding, and poor sanitation. Intestinal parasites in dogs can cause serious health problems.
Puppies can acquire the infection from their mother or from contaminated premises. If Kennel sanitation is poor, the puppies reinfect themselves from their feces. Coccidiosis can spread rapidly in a kennel.
Five to seven days after the ingestion of the oocysts, the infected cysts appear in the puppies feces. The cycle is complete in the seven days. The first signs you will notice is canine diarrhea. As it progresses the feces turn mucus-like and tinged with blood. You will notice a lack of appetite, weakness, dehydration, and anemia. It can be accompanied by a cough, running nose, and discharge from the eyes.
Mild cases of Coccidiosis can be found in the stools of puppies without casing problems, until stress from shipping or an outbreak of worms, reduces resistance. Dogs that recover become carriers.
Your Veterinarian can identify if your puppy has coccidiosis by finding adult oocysts in a microscopic slide of fresh feces.
Treatment should begin with stopping the dog diarrhea. A Neomycin-Kaopectate antidiarrhea preparation can be used to stop the diarrhea in dogs. Dogs with diarrhea can become severely dehydrated or anemic, it may need to be hospitalized for fluid replacement.
The best choice of antibiotic treatment is sulfonamides and antibiotics. This drug will remove oocysts from the stool in seven to twelve days.
Dogs that are carriers should be isolated and treated. Kennel runs and cages should be washed daily and bleached with boiling water to prevent dog parasites.