Canine coccidiosis: symptoms and therapy

Canine coccidiosis: symptoms and therapy

There coccidiosis it particularly affects cats and dogs but these quadrupeds are not the only ones we love so much to be victims of coccidiosis, a pathology that also afflicts other living beings in a less fierce but still annoying way. It is a disease not recently discovered, it was already talked about in the Thirties but at the time it was more than anything else a problem that affected poultry or farm animals, so I mean creatures such as rabbits and chickens. Of course, hygiene does a lot when it comes to coccidiosis, and at the time there were far fewer controls and lower standards even in our country.

Unfortunately today in some developing states the level of cleanliness is still not enough not to hear of coccidiosis for farm animals, in our part of Italy his favorite victims have become dogs, actually dogs on an equal footing with cats.

Once there coccidiosis even in Italy he could really exterminate entire farms of poultry animals, all due to insufficient hygienic conditions, today fortunately it is no longer possible thanks to the many studies that have been carried out to get to the realization of the coccidiosisOur dog can get sick from it, it does not mean that he lives in a dirty place, however, because as we will see there are ways of contagion that are even more "diabolical" than just the unhealthy environment.

Dog coccidiosis

We have talked about causes so far without telling what is the coccidiosis. It is a disease that is linked to the presence of parasites called coccidia, intestinal parasites that are able to enter the intestine of dogs, infecting it, and then exit their body through the feces. Once in and out, they are still a source of contamination and can attack other animals sniff or lick the mucous membranes.

Going to look carefully at how i coccidia, we see that these parasites are made up of a single cell invisible to the naked eye it is therefore difficult to analyze them and it is possible to do so, in truth, only when you go to carry out the classic analysis of feces. When we look for them we must think of them as very small worms.

We speak, for the coccidia, of "obligate parasites". It sounds funny but this is the name of parasites that spend their life period at the expense of the host animal. This is also the case for the coccidia that settle in our dogs, they keep the animal alive because it is convenient for them to stay alive in order to have time to reproduce and to distribute themselves in other guests.

We talked about attacks of coccidiosis also for poultry, or for cats, but it is good not to get confused, There are various types of coccidia and each of them can affect only one species of animal: the isosporous coccidia particularly affect cats and dogs, for example, others instead they can tell us they specialize in chickens or rabbits. The two main families of coccidia are isospore and eimeria.

Canine coccidiosis: symptoms

Speaking of the coccidiosis of the dog, we see that there are two types that have different effects on the dog, they are two forms of the same pathology, The subclinical one is the form in which the animal is completely infested but no symptoms of any kind are noted so the dog lives as nothing it was, continue on his way, day after day, unaware of the coccidia that live inside him. Subclinical is the most common form but there is also the clinical one that has obvious symptoms and a not shy effect on the animal that contracts this pathology, the dog with coccidiosis in clinical form he has enteritis, an inflammation of the intestine, and therefore can even risk his life if not treated in time.

Let's see how it can manifest itself more specifically in terms of symptoms: a dog with coccidia in the intestine has diarrhea, blood in the stool and developmental delay. Sometimes he can also suffer from loss of appetite, fatigue and lower than normal body temperature. These are the main and characteristic symptoms that can also be combined with other more generic ones and that can be difficult to immediately connect to the presence of coccidia, I am referring to dull hair, dehydration, difficulty in walking or inability to move the limbs.

Canine coccidiosis: causes

As we have already seen in the previous paragraphs, the coccidiosis is related to presence of coccidia in the intestine and begins to give evidence, in the clinical form, when the balance is broken between the parasite and the dog that hosts it. If this does not happen, it can remain asymptomatic, without the dog being in danger of life. But how do coccidia enter the dog's body? In this sense we can go and see how the disease is transmitted. By air, for example, but also through the ingestion of the feces of an infected animal, or indirectly through other infected animals, such as mice. Whichever way the coccis enters, once it is inside the dog, it settles in the intestine and begins to form its own colony.

Coccidiosis in dogs: drugs

The best thing to do with the coccidiosis is to prevent it, try to protect dogs from coccidia by making sure that they do not come into contact with these parasites or that they know how to defend them. There are also drugs that can also serve to prevent the reproduction of coccidia by hindering them when, once they have entered the animal's body, they work to colonize it. Pharmacological therapy must be repeated 2-3 times a day, upon medical advice, it can also be prescribed in the case of asymptomatic disease, so for example that it does not spread further by infecting other animals.

Moreover, on closer inspection, the absence of symptoms does not coincide with the absence of damage: the coccidiosis it can cause it even without symptoms

Dog coccidiosis: tips

There are also some tricks that can be useful when you want avoid contracting this disease which is often easier to find in environments where multiple dogs live together. In this case it is necessary to maintain a high level of hygiene by removing any residual faeces. It is also important that dogs always have a correct diet and that they are subjected to regular periodic visits to the vet with the examination of feces included.

If you are interested in the health of your dogs, the article on itching in dogs.If you liked this article keep following me also on Twitter and Facebook

Video: Coccidia in Puppies and Kittens (October 2021).