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Old 06-08-2006, 10:46 AM   #1
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Default Diagnosis on Tiger's feces

My vet just phoned in and told me Tiger has COCCIDIA. He will be prescribing medication so will be picking it up during my lunch break. After the call, I just had to do a research on what it is that is making my baby sick. For anyone interested, see below:

I feel that the route we take for walks is no longer a good one as there are indeed many feces lying around . . . I will try to limit the walks to paved roads just to be on the safe side. I hope that his immune system will eventually be strong enough to eliminate all these microorganisms.

He is doing tremendously well this morning . . .he is back to his usual self. He ate well . . . . .



What are coccidia?


Coccidia are small protozoans (one-celled organisms) that multiply in the intestinal tracts of dogs and cats, most commonly in puppies and kittens less than six months of age, in adult animals whose immune system is suppressed, or in animals who are stressed in other ways (e.g.; change in ownership, other disease present).

In dogs and cats, most coccidia are of the genus called Isospora. Isospora canis and I. ohioensis are the species most often encountered in dogs. Regardless of which species is present, we generally refer to the disease as coccidiosis. As a puppy ages, he tends to develop a natural immunity to the effects of coccidia. As an adult, he may carry coccidia in his intestines, and shed the cyst in the feces, but experience no ill effects.

How are coccidia transmitted?

A puppy is not born with the coccidia organisms in his intestine. However, once born, the puppy is frequently exposed to his mother's feces, and if the mother is shedding the infective cysts in her feces, then the young animals will likely ingest them and coccidia will develop within their intestines. Since young puppies, usually those less than six months of age, have no immunity to coccidia, the organisms reproduce in great numbers and parasitize the young animal's intestines. Oftentimes, this has severe effects.

From exposure to the coccidia in feces to the onset of the illness is about 13 days. Most puppies who are ill from coccidia are, therefore, two weeks of age and older. Although most infections are the result of spread from the mother, this is not always the case. Any infected puppy or kitten is contagious to other puppies or kittens. In breeding facilities, shelters, animal hospitals, etc., it is wise to isolate those infected from those that are not.

What are the symptoms of coccidiosis?

The primary sign of an animal suffering with coccidiosis is diarrhea. The diarrhea may be mild to severe depending on the level of infection. Blood and mucous may be present, especially in advanced cases. Severely affected animals may also vomit, lose their appetite, become dehydrated, and in some instances, die from the disease.

Most infected puppies encountered by the authors are in the four to twelve week age group. The possibility of coccidiosis should always be considered when a loose stool or diarrhea is encountered in this age group. A microscopic fecal exam by a veterinarian will detect the cysts confirming a diagnosis.

What are the risks?

Although many cases are mild, it is not uncommon to see severe, bloody diarrhea result in dehydration and even death. This is most common in animals who are ill or infected with other parasites, bacteria, or viruses. Coccidiosis is very contagious, especially among young puppies. Entire kennels may become contaminated, with puppies of many age groups simultaneously affected.

What is the treatment of coccidiosis?

It should be mentioned that stress plays a role in the development of coccidiosis. It is not uncommon for a seemingly healthy puppy to arrive at his new home and develop diarrhea several days later leading to a diagnosis of coccidia. If the puppy has been at the new home for less than thirteen days, then he had coccidia before he arrived. Remember, the incubation period (from exposure to illness) is about thirteen days. If the puppy has been with his new owner several weeks, then the exposure to coccidia most likely occurred after the animal arrived at the new home.

Fortunately, coccidiosis is treatable. Drugs such as sulfadimethoxine (Albon®) and trimethoprim-sulfadiazine (Tribrissen®) have been effective in the treatment and prevention of coccidia. Because these drugs do not kill the organisms, but rather inhibit their reproduction capabilities, elimination of coccidia from the intestine is not rapid. By stopping the ability of the protozoa to reproduce, time is allowed for the puppy's own immunity to develop and remove the organisms.

How is coccidiosis prevented or controlled?

Because coccidia is spread by the feces of carrier animals, it is very important to practice strict sanitation. All fecal material should be removed. Housing needs to be such that food and water cannot become contaminated with feces. Clean water should be provided at all times. Most disinfectants do not work well against coccidia; incineration of the feces, and steam cleaning, immersion in boiling water, or a 10% ammonia solution are the best methods to kill coccidia. Coccidia can withstand freezing.

Cockroaches and flies can mechanically carry coccidia from one place to another. Mice and other animals can ingest the coccidia and when killed and eaten by a dog, for instance, can infect the dog. Therefore, insect and rodent control is very important in preventing coccidiosis.

The coccidia species of dogs and cats do not infect humans.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:27 AM   #2
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Default Poor Tiger!

Poor thing! I hate that he feels bad! We are sending hugs your way!
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:48 AM   #3
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My poor Bailey developed coccidia over Memorial Day weekend well we were on vacation. He would not eat or drink water for 5 days... I was lucky enough for him to make it home (flying) and to get him to the vet. After going over and over what could have happened, we came to the conclussion that he ate raccoon feces well walking in downtown Carmel, Ca. Two children had died from eating the feces within the past 6 month or so. He is still running a fever on and off but takig his meds faithfully. I was afraid I was going to lose him and have to tell my husband who is over in Iraq....
I am happy to hear your little one is doing better... Keep on eye on him....
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:51 AM   #4
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glad to hear tiger is feeling better. sucks that he has coccidia but at least its something that can be cured with a few antibiotics
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:53 AM   #5
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Cry poor baby!

I hope he gets better soon! Take care and im sending hugs your way!
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelpm
My poor Bailey developed coccidia over Memorial Day weekend well we were on vacation. He would not eat or drink water for 5 days... I was lucky enough for him to make it home (flying) and to get him to the vet. After going over and over what could have happened, we came to the conclussion that he ate raccoon feces well walking in downtown Carmel, Ca. Two children had died from eating the feces within the past 6 month or so. He is still running a fever on and off but takig his meds faithfully. I was afraid I was going to lose him and have to tell my husband who is over in Iraq....
I am happy to hear your little one is doing better... Keep on eye on him....
OMG, I guess Bailey did get hit pretty hard compared to Tiger especially when it had to happen during a vacation trip How is Bailey doing now and how long has he been on meds.

Tiger is almost back to normal this morning and ate his entire meal . I guess it was only one day of NO FOOD for him. I have yet to see what his feces is like today compared to yesterday.

I better watch and make sure Annika does not get it . . . will be mopping my entire laundry room floor with ammonia this PM . . .gotta kill all those organisms they are NOT welcome in my home.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:55 AM   #7
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awww hugs and kisses coming from CA to Tiger
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:14 PM   #8
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Cali had it pretty bad when I got her but with meds she got over it real quick.The Breeder had started treating her for it. My Pom never got it. So I hope both your babies get better soon.
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:52 PM   #9
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Default hello Patti

Can dogs of any age get this? My husband is already paranoid of walking them outside the house because of what they can get into while they are sniffing the ground. No matter how often we tell them not to sniff I guess it's just their nature to do that. But I want them to enjoy going outside too. Any idea?
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:56 PM   #10
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Oh Boy - sounds like the whole house needs to be bleached out and poor little Annika will need to be treated, too. Yikes! I sure don't envy you, we're having a hard enough time with giardia. Good luck to you all and keep us posted on the progress. Hugs & kisses & get well wishes being sent your way.
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:56 PM   #11
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Get well soon!
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLEO & CEASAR
Can dogs of any age get this? My husband is already paranoid of walking them outside the house because of what they can get into while they are sniffing the ground. No matter how often we tell them not to sniff I guess it's just their nature to do that. But I want them to enjoy going outside too. Any idea?

dogs of any age (people too) can get coccidia as well as all the other types of worms as well. They get it from ingesting feces of an infected animal. dogs mostly get it from eatting other animals poop, but rarely they can get it from walking in poop and then licking their feet. you mostly have to just watch what they pick up and eat. sniffing is ok, and walks everywhere are ok too, just watch that they don't eat any poop. sometimes it can be hard because rabbit poop is small and dogs LOVE those lol

there are some heartworm medications (interceptor and revolution and i think heartguard plus) that have added worm protection for rounds, hooks, and whips, but not coccidia.
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:28 PM   #13
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aww poor tiger! i hope he feels 100% better soon!
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Old 06-08-2006, 06:29 PM   #14
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Poor Tiger! I hope he gets to feeling better fast! Big (((HUGS))) to him!!!
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:22 PM   #15
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Maddie and I send get well wishes to Tiger! I'm glad you've figured out what it was so now he should be getting better each day!
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