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  1. 1. Inf she t I fo s eetCocc cidios sisDeadly scourge of young lambs and kids y gby Susan SSchoenianSheep and Goat Specia d alistUniversity of Maryland Extension y dsschoen@umd.eduLast revised: 11.8.2011Coccidios is a paras sis sitic disease affecting a variety of a e animals, esp pecially mam mmals and bbirds.The caussative organi ism is a microscopic, sppore-forming single-cell protozoa c g, called coccid dia.Coccidia are from th same clas of organis he ss sms (sporozo that caus malaria. oa) seCoccidia are sub-classified into many gener In sheep and goats, c ra. coccidiosis is caused by thegenus Eimmeria. Within this genus, there are more than ten species of coccidia that are known eto infect sheep or go t oats. Not all of the spec l cies are path hogenic or h have the sam level of mepathogennicity. In fac only a few are usually responsib for diseas outbreaks. ct, ble seCoccidia are host-specific, meanning thespecies o coccidia that affect p of t poultry do no otaffect sh heep and goa Even sheep and goa ats. atsare affec cted by diffe erent specie of coccidia. esLife cycl leCoccidia have a very complicate life cycle, y edwith man stages of developmen As with ny nt.other int ternal parasiites, there is a free-livin ngstage whhich takes pl lace outside of the anim maland a parasitic phase which take place in t e es theintestine of the hos es st.The egg-like structure of coccidia is called an oocyte. I is passed i the feces of infected It insheep an goats. Wh first pas nd hen ssed, the ooc cyst is not in nfective. It must underg a period o go ofdevelopm ment called sporulation (hatching). Sporulation requires ox n xygen and mmoisture. The etime required for de evelopment is temperature-depende ent. In geneeral, the war rmer theweather, the faster the develop , pment, unles the tempe ss erature is hi enough t kill the igh toorganism m.Page | 1                                                                                                                                                     Coccidio osis   
  2. 2. orulation, th oocysts ar very resisAfter spo he re stant to environmental conditions a cannot b and bekilled by ordinary dis sinfectants. Extreme de esiccation or direct sunl r light are the only eenvironmmental facto which are detrimenta to sporula ors e al ated oocysts In fact, a sporulated s.oocyst m survive for a year or longer if it is protected from direc sunlight. may f r d ctWhen a s sheep or goa ingests a s at sporulated o oocyst, spor rozoites are released and enter the cellslining the small intes e stines. The e entire life c cycle takes a about 14 day The damage done to the ys. ohost is esssentially th of intesti hat inal cell des struction. Th host cells affected m he s most often ar reepithelia cells lining the gut wh al g hich transpo nutrients and fluids into the bod ort dy.Transmis ssionLambs an kids betw nd ween the age of 1 and 6 months are most commonly affec es e cted by cocccidia.In a surve conducte in the UK, 4 to 8 wee old lambs were the m ey ed ek s most likely to be affecte o edand 4 we old lamb were the most vulner eek bs rable to clinical disease. Many disea outbreak ase ksoccur shoortly after weaning, as this is a very stressful p w y period in the lamb or kid young life e ds e.Bad weat ther may als trigger disease sooutbreakks.Almost all sheep and goats are e d exposed tococcidia. Sheep and goats routin . nely ingestoocytes e each day thr rough feces, ,contaminnated feed and water, o by licking a or gthemselv or another animal. M ves Matureanimals a largely immune to t effects are theof the pa arasite, but they serve a a asreservoir of infection r n.Coccidios is mainly associated with sis yintensive production systems in which e nsheep an goats are housed in b nd barns anddry lots. Fecal material is more concentrate in these p ed production e environment than if the tslivestock are kept on pasture. A the same time, outbre k n At eaks of cocc cidiosis are n uncomm not monin pasturre-rearing en nvironmentss.Clinical s signsAs with m most disease there are clinical and sub-clinica forms of c es, e al coccidiosis. Sheep and ggoatswith subcclinical dise ease do not s show obviou signs of th disease. T us he They appear outwardly rnormal, but suffer fr rom reduced feed consu d umption, fee conversio and grow ed on, wthperformaance. Most cases of cocc c cidiosis are subclinical a from an economic s and n stand point,subclinic coccidios is probably the most costly. cal sisClinical c coccidiosis can be deadl and usual requires p c ly lly prompt trea atment. The first sign of fcoccidios is that lambs and kid may not b thriving a well as ex sis ds be as xpected. Lam may app mbs pearopen fleeeced. Kids may have a r m rough hair cooats. Dirtine around t tail may be observed a ess the d,result of mild diarrhea.Page | 2                                                                                                                                                     Coccidio osis   
  3. 3. Soon, lam and kids begin to lo their app mbs s ose become weak and unthrifty. Lambs and petite and bkids may become anemic and strain to pass feces. As th disease c y he condition woorsens, affec ctedlambs an kids may experience severe diarr nd rhea, with streaks of blo ood, followe by severe ed edehydrattion and dea ath.DiagnosisDiagnosis of clinical coccidiosis is based on flock history and observ s y vation of clinical signs,usually d diarrhea. Fec testing h limited d cal has diagnostic vaalue. While a oocyst cou of 5,000 is unt 0considere clinically significant, not all coc ed y , ccidia are dis sease-causin or equally pathogenic In ng y c.addition, lambs and kids may be , ecome cliniccally-parasitized before shedding an oocytes. nyTherefor a negativ fecal test does not ru out coccidiosis, anym re, ve t ule more than a positive tes is stindicativ of disease ve e.There are many othe disease co er onditions that cause sym mptoms simiilar to cocciidiosis: parasiticworms, oovereating disease, salm d monellosis, E coli scour crptospor E. rs, rididium, an viral ndinfection Parasitize lambs and kids may s ns. ed suffer from mixed paras sitic infectio ons.Treatme entFor sheep and goats exhibiting c clinical signs of coccidio s osis, there are several treatmentoptions ( the U.S.), including s (in sulfa drugs, tetracycline and amp es, prolium. Connventionalanthelmiintics (dewo ormers) have no effect o coccidiosis. e onAmproliu (Corid®) can be used as both a t um d treatment a preventa and ative for coc ccidiosis. It i issold in liq quid or pow wder form. WWhen coccidi ingest Corid®, they e ia experience a thiamine deficiency and die from malnouris m shment. Thoough rare, polioencepphalomalacia (thiamine d a deficiency) has been reeported as a side effect of tr reatment wi amproliu ith um. Many sulfannamide med dications can be used to treat cocci n o idiosis. Sulfa a medication are sold in liquid or p ns n powder form. Sulfa medication can be bitter tasting, so produ ucts may inc ing, or jello can be added clude flavori to reduce t bitter ta the aste and promote adequ uate consum mption by the e animals. Whenever m medications are administered in the water, it i important s is t that the me edicated waater be the o only source of water. One of the limitations of water treeatments is that there i no guaran is ntee that eve ery animal will receive the necessary amount of t medicati l e the ion. This is particularly true of an animal that may alread be feeling poorly due to y t dy g ecoccidia infection. For this reaso it is usually better t individual treat each animal with the F on, to hmedicatiion. Severely parasitized animals sh y d hould be pennned separately, drench individually hedwith the medication, and receiv necessary supportive treatment. ve yThe medications use to treat c ed coccidiosis are not FDA-a approved fo use in sheep and goat A or ts.veterinar escribe the “extra-label use of a d rian may pre l” drug to treat coccidiosis Producers t s.must undderstand tha just becau a produc can be pu at use ct urchased oveer-the-count doesnt m ter meanit can be used legally without th consent o a veterina e he of arian.Page | 3                                                                                                                                                     Coccidio osis   
  4. 4. Medication for treatin coccidiosis in sheep ns ng s Trade Dosage e Meat M Dr rug name(s) Dilution D Du uration withdrawal 1 pint of 9.6% solution in 10 00 5 days ga allons of drinking waterAmprolium m Co orid® 7 to 21 days o 1 oz (3 oz 9.6% solution in 1 pint of % 5 days water) per 100 lbs. daily w 0 1 pint of 12.5% solution in 2 % 25 3-5 days lbon Al ga allons of drinking waterSulfadime ethoxine 1 day Di i-Methox 4 cc of 12.5% s solution per 2 lbs. of 25 3-5 days bo weight da ody aily Sample do osages are from the fact sheet Coccidiosis in Lam by Dr. Joe Rook, Michigan St t mbs tate University.Researchhers at North Carolina St h tate Univers recently conducted a trial to de sity y etermine theefficacy of amprolium in goat ki heavily infected with pathogenic Eimeria sp The ids h pp.researchers conclude that amp ed tive treatme for goats, but that prolium can be an effect enthigher do oses of the drug should be given (50 vs. 10 mg/ d 0 /kg).Preventi ionAs with mmost other diseases, it i far better to prevent coccidiosis than to trea it. By the time d is r atclinical s signs have be observe much of the damage has already occurred. Lambs and k een ed, e y kidsthat survvive a clinica infection may never r al recover from the perfor m rmance set-bback. They mmayalways la the capa ack acity to effic ciently hand feed and fluids. Cocc dle cidiosis may be the cause of ychronic ppoor-doers in the flock.There are many man nagement teechniques th can help to prevent outbreaks o coccidiosis and hat of sminimize the effects of subclinic coccidio e s cal osis.Managem ment should be aimed at reducing the fecal-to- toral transmission of the pathoge Good san en. nitation andhygiene a essentia Maternity areas should be kept are al. yclean and dry. Lamb d bing and kiddding jugs sho ould becleaned between litt ters.Pens should not be overcrowded They shou be dry an o d. uld ndwell-bedded. No fee should be fed on the ground or fl ed e loorof a pen. Feeders should be elev . vated or loc cated on theeoutside o the pen. Water recep of W ptacles should be keptclean and free from fecal matte d er.Good nut trition is ess sential to ma aintaining high levels of immunity i the flock or herd. f inBalanced rations, wi proper vi d ith itamin and m mineral suppplementatio should be fed. Colostrum on, ewill prov vide immunit to coccidi ty iosis for the first severa weeks of t neonate life. e al the esAn adequ uate intake of colostrum will help lambs and ki cope wit coccidial infection. m ids thWashing and drying the females udder before colostrum consumpti may furt t m ion ther help tolimit infe ection.Page | 4                                                                                                                                                     Coccidio osis   
  5. 5. It is best not to mix batches of y young anima with batc als ches of olde animals or to have young er ranimals f follow older animals in a grazing ro r otation. Olde animals se er erve as rese ervoirs ofinfectionn.Stress is another con ntributing fa actor to outb breaks of coccidiosis. Sh heep and goats should b behandled minimally and handled calmly and gently. It is particularly important to minimize y estress at weaning. Fe emales shou be weane from their offspring, not vice ve uld ed , ersa. Lambs andkids shou remain in familiar su uld n urroundings and in the ssame groupings. Fence lline contact may treduce th stress at weaning. heThe ratio of weanlings should n be chang drastica for the t on not ged ally two weeks p preceding or rfollowing weaning. When lambs and kids are to be tran g W e nsported, the should no go withou ey ot utfeed or w water for very long.Coccidio ostatsThere are several feed additives that can be used to pr s idiosis in she and goats. revent cocci eepBovatec® (lasalocid) is FDA-approved for co ® ) onfined shee Rumensin® (monens ep. sin) is FDA- approved for confine goats. Deccox® (deco d ed oquinate) is FDA- approved for young, non-lactatin sheep and goats. d ng d Rumensin can be to n® oxic to dogs and equines It can also be s. o toxic to s sheep and go oats if it is n mixed pr not roperly. Alw ways use a fee mill to mix any feed c ed containing a coccidiosta at. Feed mill have a mu greater margin for m ls uch mixing errorr. Coccidiosstats differ f from treatmment medicat tions in that t they do n kill the c not coccidial org tead they slow ganisms. Inst down the shedding of coccidia in the environment. Fo e nto or this reaso they nee to be fed well in advance of the risk on, edperiod, f at least 21 days befo they are effective. for 2 oreMany prooducers feed a coccidios d stat to ewes and does d s during the la gestation period. This ate npractice will help to lower the level of envi o ironmental c contamination. Coccidio ostats should be dincluded in creep fee and milk replacers. Lambs and kids reared on pasture should be fe a eds k ed stat at least 21 days prior to weanincoccidios t ng.Adequate consumpti is a limit e ion tation to the effectiveness of all co e occidiostats. This isespeciall true if the coccidiosta is being d ly e at delivered in a free choic mineral o lick, but it can ce oralso be a problem if the coccidio ostat is inclu uded in the feed, as fee consumpt ed tion may not beconsisten or adequa nt ate, especia with you lambs an kids. For this reason, coccidiosta ally ung nd atsshould neever be cons coccidiosis. Their use needs to be c sidered a "cure-all" for c combined withgood management and sanitatio on. stats should be used strCoccidios rategically. T They should not be fed year-round to all anima d als.As with c conventional anthelmint (deworm tics mers), resist tance may develop with continuous use. h sPage | 5                                                                                                                                                     Coccidio osis   
  6. 6. Feed and water additives for preventing coccidiosis in sheep and goats Dosage Tradename Drug FDA approval Per hd/day In feedBovatec® Lasalosid 15 to 70 mg/d 20-30 g/ton Sheep in confinement 8 oz of a 9.6% solution per 100 gallons of drinking water for 21 daysCorid® Amprolium Rx only 1 oz (1.5 oz of 9.6% solution in 1 pint of water) per 100 lbs. daily for 21 days Young, non-lactatingDeccox® Decoquinate 22.7 mg/100 lbs BW 13.6 g/ton sheep and goats Goats in confinementRumensin® Monensin ... 20 g/ton TOXIC to equines Sample dosages for Corid are from Coccidiosis in Lambs by Dr. Joe Rook, Michigan State UniversityCoccidiostats have no meat withdrawal period and their use is permitted under USDAsNaturally-Raised and Grass-fed standards. For producers looking for an organic option, thereis some evidence to suggest that oregano oil can be used to prevent and treat coccidiosis inlivestock and poultry. It has a similar mode of action as ionophores.Page | 6                                                                                                                                                     Coccidiosis