Coccidia in dogs
People often first encounter coccidia when they acquire a young puppy who has traveled. The infectious organisms are canine/feline-specific and are not contagious to humans.
Young puppies are frequently infected with coccidia and often develop active Coccidiosis -- even puppies obtained from diligent professional breeders. Undeveloped immune systems make puppies more susceptible. Stress is the #1 Cause of Coccidia..... such as new owners, travel, weather changes, and unsanitary conditions are believed to activate infections in susceptible animals.
Symptoms in young dogs are universal: at some point around 2-3 months of age, an infected dog develops persistently loose stools. This diarrhea proceeds to stool containing liquid, thick mucus, and light colored fecal matter. As the infection progresses, spots of blood may become apparent in the stool, and sudden bowel movements may surprise both dog and owner alike. Coccidia infection is so common that any pup under 4 months old with these symptoms can almost surely be assumed to have coccidiosis.
Fortunately, the treatment is inexpensive, extremely effective, and routine. A veterinarian can easily diagnose the parisite through low-powered microscopic examination of an affected dog's feces. One of many easily administered and inexpensive drugs will be prescribed, and, in the course of just a few days, an infection will be eliminated or perhaps reduced to such a level that the dog's immune system can make its own progress against the infection. Even when an infection has progressed sufficiently that blood is present in feces, permanent damage to the gastrointestinal system is rare, and the dog will most likely make a complete recovery without long-lasting negative effects.
We diligently work to prevent this from occurring. We treat our puppies 3-5 days before shipping with Albon to prevent, but Stress of travel can still flare Coccidia up.
We ask that when you take your puppy for a well-check to have their stool looked at, so that incase the puppy does develop this from all the stress he/she is under when going to a new home, you may easily catch and treat this before it becomes a problem.
We do not guarantee against this but feel if the puppy is checked out when purchased this should not become a major problem.
The Good, The Band & The Ugly
Puppies are so cute and cuddly, they can make your heart skip a beat! They are loveable and huggable and bring joy to our lives. Unfortunately, just like our little kiddos, they are more susceptible to certain "Bugs" due to immature immune systems. Their curiosity and inspection of everything around them, whether good or yucky, can lead to issues also. Puppies love to play in puddles, eat snow, dig in dirt and yes, even lick other puppies' back sides. All of these funny, inquisitive activities can lead to problems later. This page will discuss two common parasites, Giardia and Coccidia, commonly found in puppies.
Giardia and coccidia are intestinal parasites. Both giardia and coccidia can cause varying degrees of diarrhea. They can also cause nausea and minor vomiting in some puppies. Young Puppies are frequently infected with coccidia and often develop active Coccidiosis due to undeveloped immune systems. Stress, such as new owners, travel, weather changes and unsanitary conditions, can activate infections in susceptible animals. Giardia lives everywhere including the soil, food and water. Puppies often become infected by drinking water on the ground or coming into contact with feces.
A fecal exam is preformed. The samples may be looked at on the slide under a microscope of sent off to a lab. The lab may run an ELISA test which is very effective in detecting Giardia. ELISA tests may also give false positive results due to antigens that that are still detectable even though an active infection is gone. The antigens may last 3-6 months after infection has cleared; therefore, the ELISA testing should not be preformed again until 3 months after treatment has ended.
Eliminating the Bad Guys
Giardia is often treated with a round of fenbendazole dewormer and/or metronidazole.
A sulfa-type antibiotic is typically prescribed for coccidian/isosporan infections.
Protecting our Puppies
These conditions are a nuisance and may require time and money to clear up. The only way to keep every puppy from ever becoming infected would be to keep them in a sterile environment, not allow any contact with the outside and for them never to be able to touch the ground, OR... we can accept the inevitable... We can have happy, healthy, well-socialized puppies that run in the grass, jump in mud puddles and love interacting with their environment... and put up with the little inconviences that come along the way.
We have made every attempt to keep your puppy healthy including regular trips to our veterinarian, appropriate vaccinations/dewormings and maintaining a sanitary, fun-filled environment in which puppies interact and grow. Your puppy has been preventatively treated with Sulfa-trim and Metronidazole for 5 days prior to leaving our house, with fenbendazole for 3 days before leaving and with ponazuril on the day of departure.