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Dunlap
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Registration date : 2007-03-04

PostSubject: Coccidia   Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:16 am

This species Coccidia is an opportunistic single cell parasite that affects the digestive system. Like worms this parasite is often detected by fecal exam. Unlike worms however these parasites never grow large enough to be seen by the naked eye.

The Coccidia is also known in its initial state as an Oocysts (pronounced o'o-sists), which can easily be visualized as a little ďoĒ inside of a big ďOĒ as seen through the microscopic picture below.

Coccidia are spread through fecal matter. Such infected fecal matter is easily passed through contact with other animals or the areas they habitate. Squirrels, birds, peopleís shoes, hands, car tires and even the rain itself may spread it. Coccidia can even be spread by an infected mouse, which is then eaten by a pet and then leads to its infection. Because this illness can contaminate the cleanest environment it is important to always be on the lookout for it and treat all pets especially the very young at the first sign any infection has occurred.

Because Coccidia is only visible through microscopic evaluation and its symptoms can often mimic that of other diseases such as Parvo and Distemper the illness is often misdiagnosed. The only real verification of this very prevalent illness is through fecal exam under a microscope. Because the fecal exam is much easier and cost efficient it is often the first thing that should be considered when a pet is exhibiting any of the below symptoms.

The symptoms of Coccidia range from none at all to nausea, lethargy, depression and diarrhea, which is often watery and may contain blood. Because its symptoms are much the same as Parvo and other illnesses that cause dehydration the course of treatment is often the same with the addition of the special drugs Albon or another similar sulfa medication to help with the condition.

An anti nausea/vomiting drug is often also provided. Anti-nausea/vomiting drugs are widely used with any condition where vomiting is a threat. Vomiting can cause great stress to a young pup and can lead to severe depression and less will to live. It is most important to treat vomiting as a critical issue. Severe vomiting can lead to rapid dehydration. Severe dehydration is the actual killer and not the disease itself in many cases where death from illness occurs.

Understanding the signs of dehydration and immediately acting on its reversal can significantly improve the odds of that petís survival. Such action may involve something as easy as providing a moisture rich food to syringe feed and watering all the way up to IV Fluid treatment.

It is important to note that Coccidia cannot be cured by the drugs that are used, but instead that these drugs inhibit the parasites growth and aid in its expulsion from the petís system. With fewer Coccidia in the digestive tract the petís immune system then is allowed to catch up and complete the task to kill the remaining.

On the positive side of a petís infection with Coccidia, like Parvo if a dog is unlucky enough to have caught it but yet survives it will then likely gain a lifetime of immunity from future episodes.

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