Canine Coccidia usually begins with diarrhea (doesn't everything?) Know when to get to the vet and when to treat at home and what to use.
When I see diarrhea in puppies, the first thing I think of is coccidia so I carefully monitor for dehydration and use some remedies I keep on hand.
What is Coccidia?
A single cell critter (protozoa) in your dog's
intestines that causes your dog to vomit and have diarrhea. Puppies are more likely to have a problem.
Adult dogs usually cure themselves within a few days unless their immune system is very weak. Since diarrhea in puppies can lead to dehydration quickly while the body is trying to expel the coccidia protozoa, this could be a very serious situation.
In severe cases, you will notice blood in the stool and even discharges of mucus. Here are symptoms of dog coccidia:
Traditional allopathic treatment begins with microscopic examination of a stool sample. Once confirmed, the most common drug used to eliminate coccidia is a sulfa-type antibiotic.
If you choose to go this route, please use probiotics afterward to repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria so your dog can still absorb the nutrients in his food.
If you've been reading my site for awhile now, you know to avoid antibiotics whenever possible, because of their side effects.
In Holistic Medicine there are a few choices to help your dog heal himself without further depleting his or her immune system.
After all, every dog is exposed to germs, parasites and diseases many times in their lifetime. By feeding truly nutritious foods and using remedies without side effects, our pets will get stronger on the inside and stay healthy.
If you already use Nature's Sunshine products, you probably have Liquid Silver Shield in your medicine cabinet. Liquid Silver Shield is excellent for all types of single celled protozoa, like coccidia and giardia, and of course all bacteria, viruses and most fungi.
I always keep it in my first aid kit for both dogs and human family members since its a great home remedy.
If you don't have Liquid Silver Shield, you can get it through me, but we'll get to that in a bit. For a complete list of remedies, click over to my page on giardia in dogs. It explains more about protozoa and their lifecycle.
The most serious complication of canine coccidia is the dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. Dehydration will damage the organs and left untreated they will shut down. Please use the simple way to test for dog dehydration. It takes only a few seconds to check and its important to know.
Dog dehydration can be addressed in two ways if your dog cannot keep down fluids:
If your dog is already dehydrated and you don't have Liquid Silver Shield, do not mess around. Get him to the vet (and remember NO vaccinations for a sick dog!)
Please always use common sense in treating your dog and prepare yourself for any future problems.
Consider keeping a home remedies first aid kit on hand. For instance, having activated charcoal on hand in case of poisoning can save your dog's life. I don't know where I'd be without mine.