How Long Should I Treat Coccidia?

Hi, We have a new Boston Terrier pup (9 weeks) who tested positive for coccidia but has no symptoms yet. Our vet has prescribed a...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jun 21st 2008


Hi,
We have a new Boston Terrier pup (9 weeks) who
tested positive for coccidia but has no symptoms
yet. Our vet has prescribed a 7 day course of
Albon. However, some other people have told me
that she needs a 28 day treatment regimen. Do you
think that this is necessary or should I just do
the 7 day treatment and follow up with the vet
next month (we see her for vaccines then)?
Also- could my cat catch this from my puppy?
Thanks!

Beth
Stoneham, MA

Coccidia are microscopic parasites that are incredibly common in puppies and kittens. Some animals can tolerate Coccidia infestations without showing any symptoms. Others develop diarrhea. In severely afflicted young pets, profuse diarrhea can lead to dehydration, failure to grow and severe illness.

Sadly, there is no perfect treatment for Coccidia. Albon is used to arrest the reproduction of the organisms within the intestinal tract. However, in the long run it is up to the pet’s immune system to tackle and eliminate the parasites.

Because every pet’s immune system is unique, some pets need to take Albon longer than others. I have known some puppies and kittens who had to take it for a month or more before they were cured. I have known others who cleared the parasite on their own, without any medication whatsoever.

Since your puppy isn’t showing symptoms, I think it is reasonable to start with a less aggressive treatment plan. It sounds like her immune system is already fighting the Coccidia. I’d recommend that you complete the seven day course of Albon. Have her stool tested after the medicine runs out. If parasites are still present, your vet can prescribe more medicine.

If your cat is an adult, it is extremely unlikely that the parasites will spread to her. Adult animals with fully-developed immune systems almost never contract Coccidia.

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