The rainy season can bring an outbreak of coccidiosis to your livestock. If you have a livestock pond, you may want to consider fencing it off if your animals have a sudden outbreak of coccidiosis.
What is Coccidiosis?
Coccidiosis is caused by microscopic parasites inside the intestines of cattle. Calves are particularly susceptible. Diarrhea is one of the first visual symptoms of a coccidiosis outbreak. Bloody diarrhea means you have major problem that needs to be treated promptly.
If you have had recent rains and stock ponds are full, you will want to consider fencing the cattle away from the water. One common way Coccidiosis is transmitted is when fecal matter contaminates the drinking water. Install a temporary electric fence around the pond to prevent the cattle from further contamination.
Treatment Options for Coccidiosis
Isolate any calf showing signs of coccidiosis. Mother cows are usually immune to bad infections, so pen up any pairs where the calf shows signs of being infected. Be sure the animals have access to clean water.
Mild cases of coccidiosis may clear up on its own after about a week with no treatment. Severe cases where the stools are more blood than fecal matter should be treated promptly. The most common treatment is with the sulphonamide family of drugs and is given orally as boluses.
Many species of animals can have coccidiosis, including humans. Normally the parasites are species-specific but will occasionally transfer to other species. Dogs are particularly susceptible. If one dog has coccidiosis in a breeding kennel, the chances are extremely high that all of the dogs have the parasitic infections.
Prevention of Coccidiosis
Cleanliness is the best line of defense against a dangerous outbreak of coccidiosis. Protect your dogs and cats as well as others by cleaning up any fecal matter promptly. For cattle, be sure that drinking water cannot become contaminated by having troughs situated so that cows cannot deposit their fecal matter into the water trough and limited contact with contaminated water.
Be sure when feeding hay that the cows will not cross-contaminate each other by dropping fecal matter onto the hay before it is consumed.
Limiting overcrowding of livestock is another way to prevent an outbreak of coccidiosis.
By taking action and doctoring the sick calf and eliminating the source of the contamination, the herd again thrives and enjoys the green grass of the draw. The fence charger is still on guard duty keeping the cattle safe from themselves.
Merck Vet Manual: Coccidiosis of Cattle
Taking Care of Coccidiosis