Eimeria spp. (Coccidia)
Coccidia are protozoan parasites that infect cells in the small intestine. This disease is associated with filth, moisture and times of depressed immunity, such as kidding, weaning or during transportation. Infection results in destruction of the intestinal lining, leading to diarrhea, weight loss/reduced weight gains, poor performance and sometimes, death. Mature oocysts are passed in the stools and can develop to infective stages in two to seven days. Upon ingestion, infective stages invade the intestinal lining and undergo asexual reproduction, producing many more invasive stages. This can occur repeatedly, and eventually sexual reproduction occurs, forming oocysts to complete the cycle. Devastating losses can occur quickly because of the asexual process. This usually is a problem at weaning when kids are stressed. Preventing and/or controlling coccidiosis can be achieved by providing an anticoccidial product in the feed or water. There are several effective products on the market, such as amprolium and monensin. Individual clinical cases can be treated with sulfa products. Fortunately, a solid immunity develops subsequent to infection; however, if infection was severe, stunting usually results( More information on Coccidiosis ).