Canine Coccidia Treatment Options

Coccidia are microscopic parasites that reside in the intestines of dogs and cats; however rodents are also carriers of these parasites. Kittens and puppies are more susceptible to being infected with the coccidia parasites. Coccidia parasites can be eliminated; however puppies can be in danger if they have the parasites, having a weaker immune system and dehydration can be fatal.

Symptoms of Coccidia

The symptoms of canine coccidia include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and lack of appetite. The parasite also causes weight loss and dehydration. In severe cases, you will notice blood in the stool and even discharges of mucus. The incubation period of the parasite is 2 weeks, so your dog will show no symptoms for the first 10 to 14 days after being infected.

However, these exact symptoms may be caused by other parasites or diseases; a veterinarian can determine the exact diagnosis.

Diagnostics of Canine Coccidia

If you notice any of the symptoms in your dog, you will have to consult a vet. The diagnosis will be established based on a stool sample.

Treatment Stages

If your dog has been diagnosed with coccidia parasites, you will have to take a few steps to ensure your dog gets rid of these parasites and avoid the re-infestation.

  1. Because canine coccidia parasites are highly contagious, make sure to separate the infected dog from other dogs in your house. However, any dog that has been in contact with the infected dog should be given preventive treatment.
  2. The drugs prescribed by a vet would be either Albon or Bactrovet or other drugs from the sulfadimethoxine class of drugs. Other effective drugs for coccidia treatment are: Tribrissen, which is a sulfadiazine and Corid. These drugs will not kill the parasites, but will stop them from reproducing and in time the dog's body will build up the immunity to eliminate the parasites.
  3. The drugs may be administrated orally or through injections. Injections are more effective and are recommended for more severe cases. The treatment lasts for up to 2 weeks. Make sure your dog doesn't display any symptoms for at least 48 hours before stopping the treatment.
  4. If a puppy or an older dog is infected and the dehydration is severe, intravenous fluids will be administrated. In this case, the dog will have to stay under the vet's supervision until his condition is stable.
  5. To prevent the re-infestation with coccidia, clean all the areas that your dog might have touched. Use bleach and rinse well. Even if the infected dog has spent time in the garden, restrict the access to this area as much as possible.
  6. Because the canine coccidia can be transmitted through feces, make sure to give a thorough bath to your dogs to get rid of any fecal matter.

Preventing Canine Coccidia

The coccidian parasites infection may be prevented through maintaining a clean household. Make sure to clean any traces of fecal matter your dog might leave behind. Remember that mice and rats are carriers of the parasites, so try to prevent your dog from getting in contact with rodents.