There are many different types of diseases and illnesses that can threaten the health of our beloved dogs. Despite our best and most dedicated efforts, sometimes our dogs become sick and we don’t know why. That’s why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable vet in D’Iberville, MS so you can be sure your dog is correctly diagnosed and expertly treated.
One disease that can affect your dog is coccidiosis. If you suspect he has this condition—or want to confirm that he doesn’t—bring him in for a checkup right away!
What is coccidiosis?
Coccidiosis is a gastrointestinal tract infection that comes in four strains. It is caused by the infestation of protozoa—microscopic one-celled organisms that live in the lining cells of a dog’s intestine for part of their lives.
Does coccidiosis affect humans?
The most common strains of coccidian parasites do not pose a threat to humans. Make sure to properly dispose of dog waste immediately, to avoid contamination or spreading of parasites.
How do dogs contract coccidiosis?
Coccidiosis occurs when a dog passes the immature coccidia (called oocysts) in their waste. Under favorable weather and humidity conditions, these oocysts become infective, and if another dog eats the wastes, the oocysts will produce “sporozoites” that set up shop in the intestinal lining. Surprisingly, mice can also infect dogs if they are eaten.
What happens to infected dogs?
Most of the time, this disease does not manifest symptoms, and if coccidia are found in a dog’s stool, it is not a serious issue. However, puppies and sickly older dogs are at risk for severe diarrhea, dehydration and vomiting.
How do vets diagnose coccidiosis?
Since most dogs do not exhibit symptoms—and those that do have symptoms that are also commonly found in other diseases—it’s important to find a responsible vet in D’Iberville, MS who can perform the right tests to diagnose the condition. This involves a microscopic stool sample evaluation. Your vet may also want to take a blood sample to check for a less common strain.
My dog has coccidiosis—what’s next?
If your dog requires treatment, your vet in D’Iberville, MS may recommend a sulfa-based antibiotic called sulfadimethoxine, which may be given for between five and 25 days. If your dog has a serious infection, you may need to administer this course of antibiotics several times. It’s relatively easy for a dog that has been infected once to be infected a second time, so it’s important to keep your home sanitary. Oocysts are resilient, so try diluted chlorine bleach to wipe surfaces—make sure to test a small area first! You might also want to check into steam cleaning. Keeping your yard free of dog waste will also cut down on the risk of re-infection.
It’s very important to take your dog to your trusted vet in D’Iberville, MS on a regular basis. That way, any potential issues can be caught and treated right away. Give D’Iberville Veterinary Hospital a call to set up your appointment today!