Do have a new puppy or kitten after the holidays? Here's what you need to know about Coccidia
It is a parasite that causes enteric symptoms; the most common sign is a malodorous, often watery, diarrhea. In cats, the most common type is Cystoisospora felis. In dogs, it is Cystoisospora canis. Young or immune-compromised animals can be more severely affected.
It is microscopic, so it has be tested for via a fecal floatation. Sometimes they are present in small numbers so a pet may need to be re-tested to find this organism. It is also recommended to recheck a fecal test after completion of treatment.
The most common transmission route is fecal-oral so it is very important to sanitize the environment well in addition to treating for this organisms as this parasite is very hardy. It’s important to remove feces daily and decrease crowding/stress in the environment. This parasite is host-specific so it cannot infect people but can infect other pets of the same species in the same environment.
1) CAPC. https://capcvet.org/guidelines/coccidia/
2) Tilley, L. P., & Smith, F. W. (2005). The 5-minute veterinary consult: Canine and feline. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
3) Wilson, D. A. (2011). Clinical Veterinary Advisor. W.B. Saunders.
4) Yin, S. A. (2010). The small animal veterinary nerdbook. Davis, CA: CattleDog Pub.