Pronunciation: (cock sid' ee uh)
What is it?: Coccidia is a protozoa that causes diarrhea in puppies and that occurs usually when they are stressed.
We have seen it every now and then when we wean and when puppies go to new homes.
What Causes the Symptoms? About 60% of all puppies have coccidia parasite in their digestive systems. Many
puppies are never physically affected by this protozoa. Stress (such as when a puppy leaves its littermates for a new
home) can cause the coccidia to flourish, and this can lead to diarrhea. In extreme cases, the puppy can get
severely dehydrated, so it's best to just medicate preventatively in our opinion. We have a strict regimen of
prevention while puppies are here.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Like most people that raise puppies and that have educated
themselves, we treat preventatively for coccidia because it is very hard to avoid having on the property. It can be
carried by bugs (especially flies), rabbits, mice, cats, dogs, and other animals. So, when dogs and puppies play in
the yard, they can pick up the oocytes. Since we don't believe in keeping puppies in little above-the-ground cages 24
hours per day and 7 days per week (that would not be fun for them OR for us), we know they will be exposed. Yours
will too, when you allow him or her to walk on grass.
I will attempt to help us understand - parisites in puppies and dogs~ there are 2  the common protozoal infection called
coccidiosis, and giardia  
(they are different then  worms) No matter which treatment you choose to utilize, the simple fact is that it may not kill all
of the cysts. A certain number of them can burrow into the lining of the intestines and go dormant. They can stay
dormant for years. Due to the hard shell protecting the cysts, it is almost impossible to kill them when they are encysted
in the lining of the intestines. Therefore, during times of stress, the cysts may re-activate and start to reproduce,
causing a outbreak . The amount of stress needed to cause a flare seems to be highly variable with different dogs and
dog breeds. Important Note: A healthy dog may have been infected years before and never have shown any symptoms
(asymptomatic carrier). They may occasionally shed very low numbers of cysts in stools--if you suspect a protozoal
infection in , I recommend the dog be treated for both coccidia and giardia at the same time since both protozoal
infections have the exact same clinical signs and both are highly contagious.
Generally you will see diarrhea or vomiting or both. The treatments are separate and inexpensive. Albon for coccidia
And Metronidazole for giardia. I am a recommending this be started for a new puppy you bring home, because it is
stressful for a puppy when they move.