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What is COCCIDIOSIS? - Hastings Veterinary Hospital


Coccidiosis infection with coccidia organisms are tiny single-celled parasites that live in the wall of your dog’s intestine. They are found most often in puppies, but they can also infect older dogs and cats. Dogs become infected by swallowing soil that contains Coccidia and other substances in the environment that may contain dog feces.

How does COCCIDIOSIS affect your dog?

Coccidiosis may not cause any signs in adult dogs but is usually more serious in puppies. The most common sign of Coccidiosis is diarrhea. More severe infections can cause bloody diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and dehydration. Severe infections, especially in puppies, can kill them. Coccidiosis is very contagious especially around young puppies and entire kennels can become contaminated.

How is COCCIDIOSIS treated?

Fortunately Coccidiosis is treatable. Drugs such as sulfadimethoxine and trimethoprim-sulfadiazine  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. Drug treatments of one to three weeks are usually required.


Name: Romeo

Age: 12 weeks

Breed: Shih Tzu X Poodle

Sex: Intact Male

History: Dec 18/12 “Romeo” was presented with bloody diarrhea. Appetite, drinking, and urination were normal.

Diagnosis:  Fecal float was performed, and was positive for Coccidia (Isospora).

Treatment: Pet was sent home with Drontal deworming and Sulfa-Trimethoprim 10 day antibiotic course.

Follow Up:

Day 10: Called owner for follow up as to how “Romeo” was doing. Still having mucous and blood in stool as per owner, advised recheck fecal float. Owner dropped of fecal float, fecal tested negative for parasite eggs.

Day 18: In for re-check, stools were still not back to normal, Romeo was doing well otherwise. Another fecal float was performed, and again tested negative for parasites/eggs.

Day 22: Additional course of Sulfa-Trimethoprim prescribed for “Romeo”, and a re-check advised in the event of persistent bloody stools.

Day 37: In for re-check, Romeo was doing very well as per owner. Eating and drinking normal, stools are back to normal. Pet is happy and healthy!


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