Coccidia - Isospora felis
- microscopic one-celled organisms (picture)
- Isospora infections usually cause no problems in adult cats, but evidence suggests that the parasite can cause significant disease in kittens. In infected kittens, the coccidia destroy the lining of the intestine and cause diarrhea with often contains mucous. Serious infections may develop in crowded environments. Good sanitation and hygiene will help control coccidia, but accurate diagnosis and effective treatment can only be achieved with your veterinarian's assistance.
- Infected cats may exhibit weight loss, weakness, dehydration and diarrhea with possibly blood and/or mucus being present, but often adults are not bothered by it at all
- Life Cycle (drawing)
- Cats become infected with this parasite by eating the cyst (thick-walled, egg-like stage) that has been passed in the feces and has matured in the soil. The cysts can be infective within six hours after being excreted in the feces.
- can also be eaten by host animal (usually a rodent) and then eaten by cat
Treatement-Fecal examination for oocysts is required for definitive diagnosis. Albon is the most commonly used drug for treatment of Coccidia-is available in suspension form. In severe cases of diarrhea, fluid therapy may be necessary to correct dehydration and electrolyte balance. WF recommends giving a product such as pedialite to the colony in cases of dehydration, regardless of cause.