Waggyfriend, this time we will discover everything we need to know about coccidiosis. In this article we will address what it is, what are the causes, symptoms, treatments, prevention measures and much more. Remember that it is our obligation to provide our pets with the life they deserve.
What is coccidiosis in dogs?
Coccidiosis in dogs is a parasitic disease that attacks the digestive system of our furry dogs and is caused by single-celled parasites called Coccidia. These parasites can be found in the feces of infected animals and in the environment, so emphasis should be placed on cleanliness.
Causes of coccidiosis in dogs
As mentioned, the main cause of this disease is parasites, however, there are other associated risk factors:
Oocysts, which are the infective forms of the parasite, are found in the environment, especially in areas contaminated with the feces of infected dogs or other animals. Puppies are particularly susceptible as they can ingest oocysts while exploring and playing in contaminated environments.
Coccidiosis is more common in environments where dogs are crowded together, such as kennels, kennels or shelters, where the spread of the parasite may be easier due to the proximity between animals and the greater presence of feces.
Dogs with weakened immune systems, whether due to age (puppies or elderly dogs), concurrent illnesses, or other factors, are at higher risk of contracting coccidiosis and developing more severe symptoms.
Stress can weaken dogs' immune systems, making them more prone to infection. Changes in the environment, diet, the presence of other animals, or any other stressor can increase the risk of coccidiosis.
Contact with other infected animals
Coccidiosis is transmitted mainly by ingestion of oocysts present in the feces of infected animals. Close contact with dogs that carry the parasite increases the risk of infection.
How do I know if my dog has coccidiosis? Symptoms
Symptoms can vary in severity and may be more evident in puppies or young dogs:
Diarrhea in dogs is one of the most prominent symptoms, it can be watery and contain mucus or blood. In some cases, diarrhea can become chronic.
Read the article: constipation in dogs
Due to persistent diarrhea and possible interference with nutrient absorption, affected dogs may experience weight loss.
Coccidiosis can lead to nutrient deficiency due to chronic diarrhea and interference with proper intestinal absorption.
Affected dogs may show signs of lethargy, apathy, or lack of interest in normal activities.
Disinterest in food
There may be a decreased appetite or even anorexia in some cases, as the disease affects the gastrointestinal tract and causes discomfort.
Is coccidiosis in dogs dangerous?
It is a worrying disease about which we must be informed and pay attention to the symptoms of our furry dogs. In some cases, coccidiosis may be asymptomatic or cause mild, self-limiting symptoms. However, in more serious situations, the disease can result in significant health problems where the death of our pet is not ruled out.
How is coccidiosis in dogs cured? Treatments
The treatment of this disease is a set of measures such as the medications that the veterinarian recommends and the hygiene measures that we adopt.
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- Specific medications against coccidia (sulfonamide and toltrazuril)
- Stabilization of circulation with intravenous drip
- Secondary bacterial infections can be prevented with antibiotics, if necessary.
- Dietary measures: soft diet and enough water
- Treatment of all animals that have contact with the infected dog (even without clinical symptoms)
- Disposal of feces and regular cleaning of fecal deposits
- Clean and disinfect feeders and waterers, contaminated surfaces, toys and other objects daily with hot water.
Home care for coccidiosis in dogs
Although this disease requires the intervention of certain treatment, medications and veterinary professionals, there are care that you can take at home to improve this:
- Make sure your dog has constant access to fresh water. If dehydration is a problem, your veterinarian may recommend electrolyte solutions.
- Ask your veterinarian about the proper diet for your dog during the recovery period. A bland, easy-to-digest diet, such as cooked rice with boiled chicken or soft commercial prescription dog food, may be recommended.
- If you have multiple dogs, you may want to temporarily isolate the infected dog to prevent spreading the parasite to other animals. Make sure you maintain a clean and disinfected environment.
- Coccidiosis is spread through oocysts present in feces. Carefully clean the area where your dog lives and disinfect any surfaces that may be contaminated.
Is coccidiosis in dogs transmitted to humans?
Coccidiosis is actually a rare disease, so transmission of the infection from dogs to humans is rare. The parasites that cause coccidiosis in dogs are usually specific to that species and do not usually infect humans.
Tips to prevent coccidiosis in dogs
When we talk about disease prevention, it will always be necessary for us to consider the following points:
- Keep your vaccination schedule up to date
- Do not take your puppy outside before 3 months
- Have regular deworming
- Provide them with appropriate hygiene measures. See if the dog smells bad
- Provide them with safe food. Try the barf diet
Article of interest: My dog doesn't want to eat
Coccidiosis in dogs is a disease that can affect the health of animals, especially puppies. Prevention plays a crucial role, highlighting the importance of maintaining a clean environment, following vet-recommended deworming protocols, and practicing good hygiene. Early detection and appropriate treatment are essential to address coccidiosis and ensure recovery of affected dogs.