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What is the cause of coccidia in puppies?

A:

Quick Answer

The parasite coccidium causes coccidia in puppies, according to PetMD. The condition causes watery diarrhea, and without treatment, it can damage the dog's intestinal lining. Coccidia is easy to treat in its early stages.

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Full Answer

Over time, the diarrhea that coccidia causes becomes bloody and uncontrollable, and the dog grows weak, states PetMD. The condition is especially dangerous for puppies due to their immature immune systems. Stress and exposure to infected dogs put a puppy at risk for contracting this disease. Sometimes, newborn puppies get the disease from their mothers.

The veterinarian diagnoses coccidia by examining the puppy's feces, according to PetMD. It is easy to see the parasite under microscope. The veterinarian prescribes a medication for the puppy, which in most cases works quickly. However, the puppy may need to stay in the veterinary clinic if it is very weak. It also needs to be rehydrated due to the fluids it lost because of the diarrhea.

It is up to the owners to make sure that the medication is given in the right way and to check the dog's progress, says PetMD. After two weeks or so, the veterinarian checks the puppy to make sure that the parasite is no longer present.

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