Treating vomiting Pups and Coccidia Infection
PARASITES AND PUPPIES
As I’m sure you have already noticed our puppies are little “hoovers.” Anything and everything they see goes in their mouths. With this in mind, the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea is “garbage gut.” I divide puppies with diarrhea and vomiting into 2 groups: sick and not sick. The “not sick” puppy can be treated at home but the “sick” puppy needs to be hospitalized.
My standard recipe for ALL dogs with diarrhea is:
1 teaspoon/per 10 lbs yogurt twice a day, any flavor (most dogs don’t like the plain)
1 teaspoon/per 10 lbs pumpkin twice a day, solid pack canned, not pie filling
(Stays fresh for 3-4 days, can be frozen in zip lock bags)
Most dogs like both of these, but I usually don’t stir them into their regular food. Continue for 3 or 4 days after the diarrhea resolves.
Coccidia are one-celled organisms (protozoan) that infect the intestines of dogs and cats, but usually targeting puppies and kittens less than 6 months old (and animals with stressed immune systems). They are usually exposed to coccidia by fecal contamination from the bitch if she is shedding it in her feces. The young pups ingest the coccidia, and since the pups have no mature immunity, the organisms reproduce in great numbers to produce symptoms. It is usually 2 weeks from exposure to the coccidia to the onset of symptoms. Stress is also an important contributing factor to coccidia infection.
The primary symptom of coccidia is diarrhea. It is usually watery with some blood and mucous. Severely affected animals may vomit, become dehydrated, lose their appetite, and occasionally die. Most infected puppies are 4 -12 weeks old.
Medications are available to inhibit the reproduction of the coccidia but they will not kill the organism. Occasionally, the puppy will need to be treated multiple times.
The puppy’s immune system will develop natural immunity to the effects of the coccidian, so as an adult, they may carry the organism in their intestine without symptoms and shed the cysts in their feces.
Coccidia is contagious to other puppies, therefore it is wise to keep those puppies separated from all other puppies. Good hygiene is the most important step in stopping the spread of coccidia. All fecal material should be removed immediately.
The coccidia species of dogs do not infect people.
Dr.Bonnie Kramer, DVM
This information is provided for educational purposes only. If you suspect your puppy has a health problem, please consult your veterinarian.
Ó 2006 BKramerDVM
Dr. Bonnie Kramer, DVM