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Coccidia for Dog Last updated: 2016-10-01

Species

Canine
  

Cystoisospora canis
 

Cystoisospora ohioensis
 

Cystoisospora neorivolta
 

Cystoisospora burrowsi
  

Canine Cystoisospora spp. are sometimes referred to as Isospora.

Overview of Life Cycle


  • Nonsporulated (noninfective) oocysts in feces 
  • Sporulated (infective) oocysts in the environment 
  • Schizonts (asexual stages) in the small and/or large intestine 
  • Gametes (sexual stages) in the small and/or large intestine 
  • Zoites, which may be sporozoites ormerozoites, are found in extraintestinal tissues (i.e., mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, or spleen) of definitive host as well as in paratenic (transport hosts) such as mice, rats, hamsters, and other vertebrates.

Disease

  • Coccidiosis causes diarrhea with weight loss, dehydration, and (rarely) hemorrhage 

  • Severely affected animals may present with anorexia, vomiting, and depression. Death is a potential outcome. 

  • Dogs may shed oocysts in feces but remain asymptomatic. 

  • Intercurrent disease(s), infectious or iatrogenic immunosuppression, or the stresses of environmental changes (i.e., shipment to pet stores or relocation to pet owners) may exacerbate coccidiosis.

Prevalence

  • Coccidial infections are common in dogs. 

  • Published surveys indicate that coccidia are present in from 3% to 38% of dogs in North America. See Prevalence Data below.

  • Young animals are more likely than older animals to become infected with coccidia.

800X600 Coccidia Prevalence 1996
800X600 Coccidia Prevalence By State

Host Associations and Transmission Between Hosts

  • Canine coccidia are acquired by ingestion of sporulated oocysts from contaminated environments. 
  • Coccidiosis is also transmitted to dogs by ingestion of transport hosts (predation) containing extraintestinal stages. 
  • Cystoisospora spp. are rigidly host-specific. Canine coccidia will not infect felines leading to passage of oocysts in feces. 
  • Canine Cystoisospora spp. are not known to be of zoonotic significance.

Prepatent Period and Environmental Factors

  • Development of oocysts to infective sporulated oocysts (sporulation) does not occur above 40° C or below 20° C. 

  • Sporulation occurs rapidly (<16 hours) at temperatures between 30° C and 37° C. 

  • Sporulated oocysts are resistant to adverse environmental conditions and can survive as long as one year in moist, protected environments if they are not exposed to freezing or extremely high temperatures. 

800X600 Coccidia Life Cycle Info

Site of Infection and Pathogenesis

  • Developmental stages reside in either cells lining the intestinal villus (enterocytes) or cells within the lamina propria of the villus. 

  • Maturation and emergence of asexual and sexual stages from infected cells causes cell lysis. This damage can be especially severe when caused by species that develop within cells in the lamina propria. 

  • Zoites also are found in extraintestinal tissues (i.e., mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, or spleen) of definitive or paratenic hosts. These resting or latent stages are not thought to cause clinical disease. 

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis of canine and feline coccidiosis is based on signalment, history, and clinical signs, and the structure of oocysts present in feces.  See diagnosis images below.
  • Fecal examination should be performed using centrifugal flotation and an adequate amount of feces. (Click here to see Fecal Examination Procedures.) 
  • Several genera of coccidia-like organisms may be present in canine and feline feces. It is important to differentiate them on the basis of size, state of sporulation, and presence/absence of oocysts or sporocysts. 
  • The presence of oocysts in feces is not, in itself, adequate proof that coccidiosis is the cause of accompanying clinical signs. 
  • Oocysts of Eimeria spp. are sometimes observed in canine fecal samples. Dogs are not hosts to Eimeria spp.; therefore these oocysts are referred to as pseudoparasites. These oocysts never reach the two-celled stage typical of Cystoisospora spp. A few two-celled Cystoisospora oocysts are often observed, even in fresh fecal samples. Additionally, oocysts of many Eimeria spp. often have oocyst wall ornamentations called micropyles or micropyle caps.
800X600 Coccidia Of Dogs Cats In Na

Treatment

  • Sulfadimethoxine is the only drug that is label approved for treatment of enteritis associated with coccidiosis. 
  • Numerous additional drugs and drug combinations have been used with some success. (See below) 
  • Among the newer drugs, ponazuril appears to be effective, according to published research and user testimonials.

Treatment of Coccidiosis of Dogs and Cats

Sulfadimethoxine   

50-60 mg/kg daily for 5-20 days (D,C)


Sulfaguanidine      

150 or 200 mg/kg daily for 6 days (D,C); 100-200 mg/kg every 8 hours for 5 days (D,C)


Furazolidone

8-20 mg/kg once or twice daily for 5 days (D,C)


Trimethoprim/Sulfonamide

Dose/length depends on sulfa;  30-60 mg/kg trimethoprim daily for 6 days in animals ≥ 4 kg; or 15-30 mg/kg trimethoprim for 6 days in animals ≤ 4 kg


Sulfadimethoxine/Ormetoprim

55 mg/kg of sulfadimethoxine and 11 mg/kg of ormetaprim for 7-23 days (D)


Quinacrine

10 mg/kg daily for 5 days (C)


Amprolium

300 to 400 mg (total) for 5 days (D); 110-200 mg (total) daily for 7-12 days (D); 60-100 mg/kg (total) daily for 7 days (C); 1.5 tbsp (23 cc)/gal (sole water source) not to exceed 10 days (D)


Amprolium/Sulfadimethoxine

150 mg/kg of amprolium and 25 mg/kg of sulfadimethoxine for 14 days (D)


Toltrazuril

10-30 mg/kg daily for 1-3 days (D)


Diclazuril

25 mg/kg daily for 1 day (C)


Ponazuril

20 mg/kg daily for 1-3 days (D,C)

Control and Prevention

  • In addition to treatment, appropriate sanitation is helpful in preventing spread of coccidiosis in kennels and catteries. 
  • Oocysts sporulate quickly once in the environment; daily removal of feces can aid in the prevention of coccidiosis. 
  • After they are infective, oocysts are resistant to most commonly used disinfectants. Infective oocysts can survive for many months in the environment. 
  • Disinfectants containing high concentrations of ammonia can destroy oocysts, but harmful odors and the necessity of removing animals from runs or cages during treatment limit their use. 
  • Steam and pressure washing may help to dislodge feces from kennel and cage surfaces. 
  • Painting or sealing kennel floors will help prevent adherence of feces to these surfaces and will aid in cleaning. 
  • Treatment of all in-contact animals, including bitches, may also be beneficial in controlling coccidiosis in kennels. 
  • Prevention of predation should be emphasized to prevent infection via paratenic hosts.

Public Health Considerations

  • Because humans are not susceptible to Cystoisospora infections in dogs, canine coccidia are not considered zoonotic agents. 

Selected References

  • Dubey JP, Lindsay DS, Lappin MR. 2009. Toxoplasmosis and other intestinal coccidial infections in cats and dogs. Vet Clin Small Anim. 39:1009-1034. 

  • Gates MC, Nolan TJ. 2009. Endoparasite prevalence and recurrence across different age groups of dogs and cats. Veterinary Parasitology. 166: 153-158. 

  • Lappin MR. 2005. Enteric protozoal diseases. Vet Clin Small Anim. 35: 81-88.

Species

Canine
  

Cystoisospora canis
 

Cystoisospora ohioensis
 

Cystoisospora neorivolta
 

Cystoisospora burrowsi
  

Canine Cystoisospora spp. are sometimes referred to as Isospora.

Overview of Life Cycle


  • Nonsporulated (noninfective) oocysts in feces 
  • Sporulated (infective) oocysts in the environment 
  • Schizonts (asexual stages) in the small and/or large intestine 
  • Gametes (sexual stages) in the small and/or large intestine 
  • Zoites, which may be sporozoites ormerozoites, are found in extraintestinal tissues (i.e., mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, or spleen) of definitive host as well as in paratenic (transport hosts) such as mice, rats, hamsters, and other vertebrates.

Disease

  • Coccidiosis causes diarrhea with weight loss, dehydration, and (rarely) hemorrhage 

  • Severely affected animals may present with anorexia, vomiting, and depression. Death is a potential outcome. 

  • Dogs may shed oocysts in feces but remain asymptomatic. 

  • Intercurrent disease(s), infectious or iatrogenic immunosuppression, or the stresses of environmental changes (i.e., shipment to pet stores or relocation to pet owners) may exacerbate coccidiosis.

Prevalence

  • Coccidial infections are common in dogs. 

  • Published surveys indicate that coccidia are present in from 3% to 38% of dogs in North America. See Prevalence Data below.

  • Young animals are more likely than older animals to become infected with coccidia.

800X600 Coccidia Prevalence 1996
800X600 Coccidia Prevalence By State

Host Associations and Transmission Between Hosts

  • Canine coccidia are acquired by ingestion of sporulated oocysts from contaminated environments. 
  • Coccidiosis is also transmitted to dogs by ingestion of transport hosts (predation) containing extraintestinal stages. 
  • Cystoisospora spp. are rigidly host-specific. Canine coccidia will not infect felines leading to passage of oocysts in feces. 
  • Canine Cystoisospora spp. are not known to be of zoonotic significance.

Prepatent Period and Environmental Factors

  • Development of oocysts to infective sporulated oocysts (sporulation) does not occur above 40° C or below 20° C. 

  • Sporulation occurs rapidly (<16 hours) at temperatures between 30° C and 37° C. 

  • Sporulated oocysts are resistant to adverse environmental conditions and can survive as long as one year in moist, protected environments if they are not exposed to freezing or extremely high temperatures. 

800X600 Coccidia Life Cycle Info

Site of Infection and Pathogenesis

  • Developmental stages reside in either cells lining the intestinal villus (enterocytes) or cells within the lamina propria of the villus. 

  • Maturation and emergence of asexual and sexual stages from infected cells causes cell lysis. This damage can be especially severe when caused by species that develop within cells in the lamina propria. 

  • Zoites also are found in extraintestinal tissues (i.e., mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, or spleen) of definitive or paratenic hosts. These resting or latent stages are not thought to cause clinical disease. 

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis of canine and feline coccidiosis is based on signalment, history, and clinical signs, and the structure of oocysts present in feces.  See diagnosis images below.
  • Fecal examination should be performed using centrifugal flotation and an adequate amount of feces. (Click here to see Fecal Examination Procedures.) 
  • Several genera of coccidia-like organisms may be present in canine and feline feces. It is important to differentiate them on the basis of size, state of sporulation, and presence/absence of oocysts or sporocysts. 
  • The presence of oocysts in feces is not, in itself, adequate proof that coccidiosis is the cause of accompanying clinical signs. 
  • Oocysts of Eimeria spp. are sometimes observed in canine fecal samples. Dogs are not hosts to Eimeria spp.; therefore these oocysts are referred to as pseudoparasites. These oocysts never reach the two-celled stage typical of Cystoisospora spp. A few two-celled Cystoisospora oocysts are often observed, even in fresh fecal samples. Additionally, oocysts of many Eimeria spp. often have oocyst wall ornamentations called micropyles or micropyle caps.
800X600 Coccidia Of Dogs Cats In Na

Treatment

  • Sulfadimethoxine is the only drug that is label approved for treatment of enteritis associated with coccidiosis. 
  • Numerous additional drugs and drug combinations have been used with some success. (See below) 
  • Among the newer drugs, ponazuril appears to be effective, according to published research and user testimonials.

Treatment of Coccidiosis of Dogs and Cats

Sulfadimethoxine   

50-60 mg/kg daily for 5-20 days (D,C)


Sulfaguanidine      

150 or 200 mg/kg daily for 6 days (D,C); 100-200 mg/kg every 8 hours for 5 days (D,C)


Furazolidone

8-20 mg/kg once or twice daily for 5 days (D,C)


Trimethoprim/Sulfonamide

Dose/length depends on sulfa;  30-60 mg/kg trimethoprim daily for 6 days in animals ≥ 4 kg; or 15-30 mg/kg trimethoprim for 6 days in animals ≤ 4 kg


Sulfadimethoxine/Ormetoprim

55 mg/kg of sulfadimethoxine and 11 mg/kg of ormetaprim for 7-23 days (D)


Quinacrine

10 mg/kg daily for 5 days (C)


Amprolium

300 to 400 mg (total) for 5 days (D); 110-200 mg (total) daily for 7-12 days (D); 60-100 mg/kg (total) daily for 7 days (C); 1.5 tbsp (23 cc)/gal (sole water source) not to exceed 10 days (D)


Amprolium/Sulfadimethoxine

150 mg/kg of amprolium and 25 mg/kg of sulfadimethoxine for 14 days (D)


Toltrazuril

10-30 mg/kg daily for 1-3 days (D)


Diclazuril

25 mg/kg daily for 1 day (C)


Ponazuril

20 mg/kg daily for 1-3 days (D,C)

Control and Prevention

  • In addition to treatment, appropriate sanitation is helpful in preventing spread of coccidiosis in kennels and catteries. 
  • Oocysts sporulate quickly once in the environment; daily removal of feces can aid in the prevention of coccidiosis. 
  • After they are infective, oocysts are resistant to most commonly used disinfectants. Infective oocysts can survive for many months in the environment. 
  • Disinfectants containing high concentrations of ammonia can destroy oocysts, but harmful odors and the necessity of removing animals from runs or cages during treatment limit their use. 
  • Steam and pressure washing may help to dislodge feces from kennel and cage surfaces. 
  • Painting or sealing kennel floors will help prevent adherence of feces to these surfaces and will aid in cleaning. 
  • Treatment of all in-contact animals, including bitches, may also be beneficial in controlling coccidiosis in kennels. 
  • Prevention of predation should be emphasized to prevent infection via paratenic hosts.

Public Health Considerations

  • Because humans are not susceptible to Cystoisospora infections in dogs, canine coccidia are not considered zoonotic agents. 

Selected References

  • Dubey JP, Lindsay DS, Lappin MR. 2009. Toxoplasmosis and other intestinal coccidial infections in cats and dogs. Vet Clin Small Anim. 39:1009-1034. 

  • Gates MC, Nolan TJ. 2009. Endoparasite prevalence and recurrence across different age groups of dogs and cats. Veterinary Parasitology. 166: 153-158. 

  • Lappin MR. 2005. Enteric protozoal diseases. Vet Clin Small Anim. 35: 81-88.

Coccidia for Cat Last updated: 2016-10-01

Species

Feline
 

Cystoisospora felis
 

Cystoisospora rivolta
*  

Feline Cystoisospora spp. are sometimes referred to as Isospora.

Overview of Life Cycle


  • Nonsporulated (noninfective) oocysts in feces  
  • Sporulated (infective) oocysts in the environment 
  • Schizonts (asexual stages) in the small and/or large intestine 
  • Gametes (sexual stages) in the small and/or large intestine 
  • Zoites, which may be sporozoites ormerozoites, are found in extraintestinal tissues (i.e., mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, or spleen) of definitive host as well as in paratenic (transport hosts) such as mice, rats, hamsters, and other vertebrates.
800X600 Coccidia Life Cycle Of Isospora Felis

Disease

  • Coccidiosis causes diarrhea with weight loss, dehydration, and (rarely) hemorrhage 

  • Severely affected animals may present with anorexia, vomiting, and depression. Death is a potential outcome. 

  • Cats may shed oocysts in feces but remain asymptomatic. 

  • Intercurrent disease(s), infectious or iatrogenic immunosuppression, or the stresses of environmental changes (i.e., shipment to pet stores or relocation to pet owners) may exacerbate coccidiosis.

Prevalence

  • Coccidial infections are common in cats. 
  • Published surveys indicate that coccidia are present in 3% to 36% of cats in North America. See Prevalence Data below.
  • Young animals are more likely than older animals to become infected with coccidia.
800X600 Coccidia Prevalence 1996
800X600 Coccidia Prevalence By State

Host Associations and Transmission Between Hosts

  • Feline coccidia are acquired by ingestion of sporulated oocysts from contaminated environments. 

  • Coccidiosis is also transmitted to dogs and cats by ingestion of transport hosts (predation) containing extraintestinal stages. 

  • Cystoisospora spp. are rigidly host-specific. Canine coccidia will not infect felines leading to passage of oocysts in feces. The same is true for feline coccidia. 

  • Feline Cystoisospora spp. are not known to be of zoonotic significance. 

Prepatent Period and Environmental Factors


  • Development of oocysts to infective sporulated oocysts (sporulation) does not occur above 40° C or below 20° C. 
  • Sporulation occurs rapidly (<16 hours) at temperatures between 30° C and 37° C. 
  • Sporulated oocysts are resistant to adverse environmental conditions and can survive as long as one year in moist, protected environments if they are not exposed to freezing or extremely high temperatures. 
800X600 Coccidia Life Cycle Info

Site of Infection and Pathogenesis

  • Developmental stages reside in either cells lining the intestinal villus (enterocytes) or cells within the lamina propria of the villus. 

  • Maturation and emergence of asexual and sexual stages from infected cells causes cell lysis. This damage can be especially severe when caused by species that develop within cells in the lamina propria. 

  • Zoites also are found in extraintestinal tissues (i.e., mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, or spleen) of definitive or paratenic hosts. These resting or latent stages are not thought to cause clinical disease. 

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis of Feline coccidiosis is based on signalment, history, and clinical signs, and the structure of oocysts present in feces.
  • Fecal examination should be performed using centrifugal flotation and an adequate amount of feces. (Click here to see Fecal Examination Procedures.) 
  • Several genera of coccidia-like organisms may be present in canine and feline feces. It is important to differentiate them on the basis of size, state of sporulation, and presence/absence of oocysts or sporocysts. 
  • The presence of oocysts in feces is not, in itself, adequate proof that coccidiosis is the cause of accompanying clinical signs. 
  • Oocysts of Eimeria spp. are sometimes observed in feline fecal samples. Cats are not hosts to Eimeria spp.; therefore these oocysts are referred to as pseudoparasites. These oocysts never reach the two-celled stage typical of Cystoisospora spp. A few two-celled Cystoisospora oocysts are often observed, even in fresh fecal samples. Additionally, oocysts of many Eimeria spp. often have oocyst wall ornamentations called micropyles or micropyle caps.
800X600 Coccidia Of Dogs Cats In Na

Treatment

  • Sulfadimethoxine is the only drug that is label approved for treatment of enteritis associated with coccidiosis. 
  • Numerous additional drugs and drug combinations have been used with some success. (See below) 
  • Among the newer drugs, ponazuril appears to be effective, according to published research and user testimonials.


Treatment of Coccidiosis of Dogs and Cats

Sulfadimethoxine   

50-60 mg/kg daily for 5-20 days (D,C)


Sulfaguanidine      

150 or 200 mg/kg daily for 6 days (D,C); 100-200 mg/kg every 8 hours for 5 days (D,C)


Furazolidone

8-20 mg/kg once or twice daily for 5 days (D,C)


Trimethoprim/Sulfonamide

Dose/length depends on sulfa;  30-60 mg/kg trimethoprim daily for 6 days in animals ≥ 4 kg; or 15-30 mg/kg trimethoprim for 6 days in animals ≤ 4 kg


Sulfadimethoxine/Ormetoprim

55 mg/kg of sulfadimethoxine and 11 mg/kg of ormetaprim for 7-23 days (D)


Quinacrine

10 mg/kg daily for 5 days (C)


Amprolium

300 to 400 mg (total) for 5 days (D); 110-200 mg (total) daily for 7-12 days (D); 60-100 mg/kg (total) daily for 7 days (C); 1.5 tbsp (23 cc)/gal (sole water source) not to exceed 10 days (D)


Amprolium/Sulfadimethoxine

150 mg/kg of amprolium and 25 mg/kg of sulfadimethoxine for 14 days (D)


Toltrazuril

10-30 mg/kg daily for 1-3 days (D)


Diclazuril

25 mg/kg daily for 1 day (C)


Ponazuril

20 mg/kg daily for 1-3 days (D,C)



Control and Prevention

  • In addition to treatment, appropriate sanitation is helpful in preventing spread of coccidiosis in kennels and catteries. 
  • Oocysts sporulate quickly once in the environment; daily removal of feces can aid in the prevention of coccidiosis. 
  • After they are infective, oocysts are resistant to most commonly used disinfectants. Infective oocysts can survive for many months in the environment. 
  • Disinfectants containing high concentrations of ammonia can destroy oocysts, but harmful odors and the necessity of removing animals from runs or cages during treatment limit their use. 
  • Steam and pressure washing may help to dislodge feces from kennel and cage surfaces. 
  • Painting or sealing kennel floors will help prevent adherence of feces to these surfaces and will aid in cleaning. 
  • Treatment of all in-contact animals, including queens, may also be beneficial in controlling coccidiosis in catteries. 
  • Prevention of predation should be emphasized to prevent infection via paratenic hosts.

Public Health Considerations

  • Because humans are not susceptible to Cystoisospora infections in cats, canine or feline coccidia are not considered zoonotic agents. 

  • Oocysts of Topxoplasma gondii, which is zoonotic, are passed in feline feces, but are much smaller than those of Cystoisospora spp.

Selected References

  • Dubey JP, Lindsay DS, Lappin MR. 2009. Toxoplasmosis and other intestinal coccidial infections in cats and dogs. Vet Clin Small Anim. 39:1009-1034. 

  • Gates MC, Nolan TJ. 2009. Endoparasite prevalence and recurrence across different age groups of dogs and cats. Veterinary Parasitology. 166: 153-158. 

  • Lappin MR. 2005. Enteric protozoal diseases. Vet Clin Small Anim. 35: 81-88.

Species

Feline
 

Cystoisospora felis
 

Cystoisospora rivolta
*  

Feline Cystoisospora spp. are sometimes referred to as Isospora.

Overview of Life Cycle


  • Nonsporulated (noninfective) oocysts in feces  
  • Sporulated (infective) oocysts in the environment 
  • Schizonts (asexual stages) in the small and/or large intestine 
  • Gametes (sexual stages) in the small and/or large intestine 
  • Zoites, which may be sporozoites ormerozoites, are found in extraintestinal tissues (i.e., mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, or spleen) of definitive host as well as in paratenic (transport hosts) such as mice, rats, hamsters, and other vertebrates.
800X600 Coccidia Life Cycle Of Isospora Felis

Disease

  • Coccidiosis causes diarrhea with weight loss, dehydration, and (rarely) hemorrhage 

  • Severely affected animals may present with anorexia, vomiting, and depression. Death is a potential outcome. 

  • Cats may shed oocysts in feces but remain asymptomatic. 

  • Intercurrent disease(s), infectious or iatrogenic immunosuppression, or the stresses of environmental changes (i.e., shipment to pet stores or relocation to pet owners) may exacerbate coccidiosis.

Prevalence

  • Coccidial infections are common in cats. 
  • Published surveys indicate that coccidia are present in 3% to 36% of cats in North America. See Prevalence Data below.
  • Young animals are more likely than older animals to become infected with coccidia.
800X600 Coccidia Prevalence 1996
800X600 Coccidia Prevalence By State

Host Associations and Transmission Between Hosts

  • Feline coccidia are acquired by ingestion of sporulated oocysts from contaminated environments. 

  • Coccidiosis is also transmitted to dogs and cats by ingestion of transport hosts (predation) containing extraintestinal stages. 

  • Cystoisospora spp. are rigidly host-specific. Canine coccidia will not infect felines leading to passage of oocysts in feces. The same is true for feline coccidia. 

  • Feline Cystoisospora spp. are not known to be of zoonotic significance. 

Prepatent Period and Environmental Factors


  • Development of oocysts to infective sporulated oocysts (sporulation) does not occur above 40° C or below 20° C. 
  • Sporulation occurs rapidly (<16 hours) at temperatures between 30° C and 37° C. 
  • Sporulated oocysts are resistant to adverse environmental conditions and can survive as long as one year in moist, protected environments if they are not exposed to freezing or extremely high temperatures. 
800X600 Coccidia Life Cycle Info

Site of Infection and Pathogenesis

  • Developmental stages reside in either cells lining the intestinal villus (enterocytes) or cells within the lamina propria of the villus. 

  • Maturation and emergence of asexual and sexual stages from infected cells causes cell lysis. This damage can be especially severe when caused by species that develop within cells in the lamina propria. 

  • Zoites also are found in extraintestinal tissues (i.e., mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, or spleen) of definitive or paratenic hosts. These resting or latent stages are not thought to cause clinical disease. 

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis of Feline coccidiosis is based on signalment, history, and clinical signs, and the structure of oocysts present in feces.
  • Fecal examination should be performed using centrifugal flotation and an adequate amount of feces. (Click here to see Fecal Examination Procedures.) 
  • Several genera of coccidia-like organisms may be present in canine and feline feces. It is important to differentiate them on the basis of size, state of sporulation, and presence/absence of oocysts or sporocysts. 
  • The presence of oocysts in feces is not, in itself, adequate proof that coccidiosis is the cause of accompanying clinical signs. 
  • Oocysts of Eimeria spp. are sometimes observed in feline fecal samples. Cats are not hosts to Eimeria spp.; therefore these oocysts are referred to as pseudoparasites. These oocysts never reach the two-celled stage typical of Cystoisospora spp. A few two-celled Cystoisospora oocysts are often observed, even in fresh fecal samples. Additionally, oocysts of many Eimeria spp. often have oocyst wall ornamentations called micropyles or micropyle caps.
800X600 Coccidia Of Dogs Cats In Na

Treatment

  • Sulfadimethoxine is the only drug that is label approved for treatment of enteritis associated with coccidiosis. 
  • Numerous additional drugs and drug combinations have been used with some success. (See below) 
  • Among the newer drugs, ponazuril appears to be effective, according to published research and user testimonials.


Treatment of Coccidiosis of Dogs and Cats

Sulfadimethoxine   

50-60 mg/kg daily for 5-20 days (D,C)


Sulfaguanidine      

150 or 200 mg/kg daily for 6 days (D,C); 100-200 mg/kg every 8 hours for 5 days (D,C)


Furazolidone

8-20 mg/kg once or twice daily for 5 days (D,C)


Trimethoprim/Sulfonamide

Dose/length depends on sulfa;  30-60 mg/kg trimethoprim daily for 6 days in animals ≥ 4 kg; or 15-30 mg/kg trimethoprim for 6 days in animals ≤ 4 kg


Sulfadimethoxine/Ormetoprim

55 mg/kg of sulfadimethoxine and 11 mg/kg of ormetaprim for 7-23 days (D)


Quinacrine

10 mg/kg daily for 5 days (C)


Amprolium

300 to 400 mg (total) for 5 days (D); 110-200 mg (total) daily for 7-12 days (D); 60-100 mg/kg (total) daily for 7 days (C); 1.5 tbsp (23 cc)/gal (sole water source) not to exceed 10 days (D)


Amprolium/Sulfadimethoxine

150 mg/kg of amprolium and 25 mg/kg of sulfadimethoxine for 14 days (D)


Toltrazuril

10-30 mg/kg daily for 1-3 days (D)


Diclazuril

25 mg/kg daily for 1 day (C)


Ponazuril

20 mg/kg daily for 1-3 days (D,C)



Control and Prevention

  • In addition to treatment, appropriate sanitation is helpful in preventing spread of coccidiosis in kennels and catteries. 
  • Oocysts sporulate quickly once in the environment; daily removal of feces can aid in the prevention of coccidiosis. 
  • After they are infective, oocysts are resistant to most commonly used disinfectants. Infective oocysts can survive for many months in the environment. 
  • Disinfectants containing high concentrations of ammonia can destroy oocysts, but harmful odors and the necessity of removing animals from runs or cages during treatment limit their use. 
  • Steam and pressure washing may help to dislodge feces from kennel and cage surfaces. 
  • Painting or sealing kennel floors will help prevent adherence of feces to these surfaces and will aid in cleaning. 
  • Treatment of all in-contact animals, including queens, may also be beneficial in controlling coccidiosis in catteries. 
  • Prevention of predation should be emphasized to prevent infection via paratenic hosts.

Public Health Considerations

  • Because humans are not susceptible to Cystoisospora infections in cats, canine or feline coccidia are not considered zoonotic agents. 

  • Oocysts of Topxoplasma gondii, which is zoonotic, are passed in feline feces, but are much smaller than those of Cystoisospora spp.

Selected References

  • Dubey JP, Lindsay DS, Lappin MR. 2009. Toxoplasmosis and other intestinal coccidial infections in cats and dogs. Vet Clin Small Anim. 39:1009-1034. 

  • Gates MC, Nolan TJ. 2009. Endoparasite prevalence and recurrence across different age groups of dogs and cats. Veterinary Parasitology. 166: 153-158. 

  • Lappin MR. 2005. Enteric protozoal diseases. Vet Clin Small Anim. 35: 81-88.