How to Treat a Dog with Coccidiosis

Symptoms of coccidiosis are similar to those seen in puppies with giardiasis. The signs include watery or hemorrhagic diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal tenderness, and anorexia. These symptoms may persist for up to 14 days. Unfortunately, these signs are not specific to coccidiosis only. A veterinarian should be consulted if any of the above signs are seen.  Coccidiosis can be diagnosed by your veterinarian by examining (under a microscope) a fecal sample from your puppy.

Sometimes, early on in the infection it is possible to get a ‘negative’ result from a fecal sample, simply because there haven’t been enough coccidian protozoa eggs shed as yet. It may take one or two more tests, done over a period of a few days, to make an accurate diagnosis.

  • Once coccidiosis has been diagnosed in your puppy, your vet will probably prescribe a sulfa-based antibiotic such as Albon or Tribissen. These medications don’t actually kill the coccidia protozoa, but stop them from breeding and reproducing. Because of this, the medications usually need to be taken for several weeks to be sure that all the organisms have died out. Sometimes more than one course of treatment is needed.
  • If the infection was severe, sometimes additional supportive veterinary care is also needed; this might include IV fluids and hospitalization. Because coccidiosis in dogs is spread through faces, high standards of hygiene are important in limiting the spread of this disease. Picking up faces immediately, keeping flies/insects and rodents away (they can also spread this disease on their feet/in their bodies) and cleaning all areas thoroughly is important.
  • Coccidia are difficult to kill, and most household cleaners aren’t going to be effective. Cleaning at high temperatures (i.e. steam cleaning and sterilization with boiling water), or with a 10% ammonia solution are the best and most effective methods.
  • The strains of Coccidiosis specific to dogs aren’t transferable to humans, but practicing good personal hygiene is still very important.
  • Coccidiosis often results from overcrowded, dirty living conditions. These conditions favor a rapid build-up of oocytes in the dog’s environment. The primary concern during coccidiosis outbreaks in kennels is the potential of this disease to spread to other susceptible dogs. Drinking water and feed should be protected from fecal contamination. Infected animals should be isolated from the rest and treated. Removing dogs from contaminated areas interrupts the life cycle of the parasite and helps control the disease.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.