Coccidia is defined as a microscopic protozoan that largely affects many animals like birds, rabbits, chickens, cats, and dogs. They exist in many kinds, and coccidia in dogs are different than the other animals. Coccidia parasites in dogs are known as Isospora felis. They infest in puppies’ small and large intestine one by one, which multiplies into thousands of other coccidia parasites in just a matter of days.
Coccidia are sexually active only in pets with definitive hosts; unfortunately dogs belong to them. This is the reason why they can multiply and shed to feces. Coccidia parasites are also very specific on their hosts. For instance, when pigs ingest Isospora felis, the parasite will simply pass through their intestine and shed in their feces with no issues at all. But when dogs ingest this kind of coccidia parasite, they begin to get sick.
Coccidia parasites are commonly present in contaminated soils, especially in livestock where animal feces decompose on the ground. It can immediately infect puppies whenever they stay in the place or ingest some parts of the soil. The sad thing about it is that coccidia is a contagious disease. When one of your puppies is infected by coccidia, it is possible that the rest of the puppies can also get the same disease.
Coccidia in puppies never had a good name in the world of renowned dog breeders and pet owners. They destroy the intestinal walls of puppies causing them to become very ill. Most times, puppies experience loss of appetite and become very malnourish. The symptoms of coccidia are very excruciating to puppies, and because of their immature immune system; most puppies are not able to endure the pain. Sometimes, coccidia parasites in dogs do not show signs until they become so populated in the dog’s tummy. But other dogs that show signs of coccidia usually suffer from watery or suddenly leak away watery stool because they are no longer able to control their bowel movement.