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Successful Coccidiosis Treatment and Control in Goats

Are you trying to determine a successful coccidiosis treatment and control in your meat goat herd?

Successful coccidiosis treatment and control protocols are always good to know. Why? Because coccidia bloom which results in coccidiosis results in a mess. So, you want to be prepared for a potential outbreak meat goats by knowing first the symptoms.

Then, learn how to try to prevent and treat it. 

In this post, I will:

  • Share what Coccidiosis is and what it looks like in goats.
  • Discuss successful coccidiosis treatment and control methods to practice.
  • Help you discover different products to use when you have an outbreak of economic losses. 
  • Share some things you can do to try to prevent Coccidiosis from destroying your herd.

So, I will share with you all of these parameters plus my successful coccidiosis treatment and control protocol. Get ready! Understanding and knowing a successful coccidiosis treatment and control in your goats is going to change the way you manage your goat herd….for the better!

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First of all, what is coccidiosis?

Coccidia is a protozoan parasite that commonly affects young goats, particularly those under six months of age. Coccidiosis is caused by a bloom of microscopic protozoa (Coccidia) found in the intestines. It’s elevated to dangerous levels of full-blown Coccidiosis when the animal is stressed and can cause a high mortality rate if not treated immediately. Factors elevating coccidiosis include:

  • dirty/wet pens
  • filthy drinking water
  • eating off the ground
  • Becoming overcrowded
  • Stress
  • Low Growth Rates or Goats Losing Weight

And sometimes the signs aren’t noticed right away. It could be a long time before you might notice an outbreak. More often than adults, it affects younger kids. Young kids aged 3 Weeks – 6 Months of age are affected.

But why so young?

There are several reasons why young goats in developmental stages are more susceptible to coccidia:

  1. Immature Immune System: Young goats have developing immune systems that are not as effective at fighting off infections compared to adult goats. This makes them more vulnerable to coccidia and other pathogens, resulting in negative impacts on their health.
  2. Environmental Exposure: Young goats are often housed in areas where coccidia oocysts (the infective stage of the parasite) are present, such as in pastures or pens contaminated with feces from infected animals. They are more likely to ingest these oocysts while exploring and grazing.
  3. Stress: Young goats can be more susceptible to stress, which can weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to coccidia. Stressors such as weaning, transportation, and changes in environment can all contribute to a higher risk of coccidia infection.
  4. High Susceptibility to Disease: Young animals, including goats, are generally more susceptible to a variety of diseases and infections due to their developing immune systems and lack of prior exposure to pathogens.

To prevent coccidia in young goats, it’s important to practice good management practices, including: 

  • Keeping living areas clean and dry, 
  • Providing clean water
  • Avoiding overcrowding. 

Additionally, an additional important factor to note is to be sure to have your veterinarian on call. Working with a veterinarian to develop a deworming and monitoring program can help reduce the risk of coccidia and other health issues in young goats.

Two reasons:

  • Because they have an immature immune system
  • Or they are stressed from weaning.

So, once the protozoa levels increase rapidly with stress through the herd, it’s like a domino effect. One right after the other.

Hence, to control more outbreaks of Coccidiosis, you must first know the symptoms of coccidiosis. Then, discover successful coccidiosis treatment options you can use to stop the outbreaks and have a healthy herd once again. 

Successful Coccidiosis Treatment

Symptoms of Coccidiosis

What does Coccidiosis look like? Here are the common yucky clinical signs:

  • Diarrhea or runny stools is usually one of the first symptom. Diarhea may look watery and contain mucous or blood – could look almost black.
  • Next, weight loss. I notice the goat has lost weight. If the goat is sunk in and losing weight, I consider coccidiosis as a possibility.
  • Stunted Growth…Animal is eating enough but not growing well. 
  • Then, dehyration. If the animal has diarhea, it could become dehydrated. 
  • Finally, fever. Take the goat’s rectal temperature using a digital thermometer. Normal temperature is (101.5 degrees F to 103.5 degrees F).

And since coccidia is a protozoa, it can only be seen and determined under a microscope. So, fecal sampling is your first move. 

How to Take A Fecal Sample

Taking a fecal sample from a goat is an important part of managing their health, especially for checking for parasites like coccidia. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Supplies: You’ll need disposable gloves, a clean container (such as a zip-top bag or a small plastic container), and a fecal loop or stick (optional).
  2. Collecting the Sample:
    • Put on your disposable gloves to protect yourself from any potential pathogens.
    • Approach the goat calmly and gently restrain it if necessary.
    • If using a fecal loop or stick, gently insert it into the goat’s rectum and collect a small amount of feces. If you don’t have a loop or stick, you can collect feces directly from the ground or from the goat’s hindquarters after it defecates.
    • Place the collected feces into the clean container. Try to avoid getting any dirt or debris in the sample.
  3. Labeling and Storing:
    • Label the container with the goat’s name, date, and any other relevant information.
    • Store the sample in a cool place or refrigerator until you can deliver it to your veterinarian or a diagnostic lab. Do not freeze the sample, as freezing can damage the parasites and make them harder to detect.
  4. Cleaning Up:
    • Dispose of your gloves properly and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the fecal matter.

In Summary:

It’s important to collect a fresh sample for the most accurate results. Your veterinarian can provide specific instructions based on your goat’s health needs and the tests being conducted.

  • Gather fecal material from your goat and take it to your veterinarian.
  • Or you could do your own fecals. If you do your own fecal counts, look for the protozoa oocysts (eggs).

Again, if you don’t have your own fecal testing equipment, take a sample to your veterinarian. It’s always best to know for sure if the goat has the disease before you take the time and spend the money to successfully treat coccidiosis.

So, time is of the essence here. The protozoa can take over the goat’s body extremely quickly if not controlled. Now that you know the symptoms and have determined coccidiosis, it’s time for those successful coccidiosis treatment options I promised you.

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. However, I do have a 4 year degree in Animal Science & Industry from a University, a Master’s degree in Agricultural Education & over a decade of experience raising goats. I believe it’s my duty to share those experiences with other goat producers. I work very closely with my own veterinarian whom I trust and seek advice from on the regular. Both of us are human beings – Not Super Heros. Read more here…

Treatment Options for Coccidiosis

First of all, the main thing to note is that coccidia is NOT a worm. It is a protozoa. Therefore, dewormers do not cure nor prevent coccidiosis. This is a mistake made time and time again by new goat owners and veterinarians. Myself included. 

So, I’m going to share with you what I have learned so you don’t make my mistakes.

I am going to share some successful protocols that were given to me by my expert goat mentor, verified by my veterinarian.

Also, I’ll share with you what to stay away from. You may get some bad advice for treatment protocols. For one thing, there is no coccidiosis vaccines that will control coccidiosis in goats. If anyone who is not a vet tries to tell you about a coccidiosis vaccination, you should steer clear of them. There are feed additives but they are not always fool proof in preventing or controlling coccidiosis. 

Please note before you read any further: I have a great client-veterinarian relationship with my veterinarian. Therefore, I run every protocol and treatment method by him to be sure it’s the most up-to-date and safe regiment for my animals.

So, the next section will cover four product options for successful coccidiosis treatment options you can check into for your own herd.

Treatment Product Options

First of all, you need to be using a coccidiostat or sulfa drug.

So, I’m going to give you a couple of products that will combat the protozoa effectively. So, I do not use all of these products. I use one that was recommended by many as well as my veterinarian. You should only stick with one until it doesn’t work anymore. 

But, I want to mention other products as well that I know have worked for other producers as well. First of all, you need to know that this protozoa is indeed the problem. 

So, the first order of combat is to target the protozoa. If it’s indeed the main problem at hand, verify it by taking fecal sample to the vet to test for coccidia. Read this post on how to prepare a fecal sample. 

Ok, let’s jump ahead now. Your goat’s fecal sample says there’s a load of coccidia. What do you do?

Luckily, there are recommended products used for coccidiosis outbreaks. These include:

  • DiMethox 12.5% (Oral Drench) or 40% (injectible given orally) – Need a veterinarian prescription. I use the 12.5% solution. 
  • Sulmet – May need a veterinarian prescription for sulfa drugs. 
  • Baycox – I don’t have much to say about it except that I know several producers who are using it.   
  • Corid – Can purchase at just about any farm store. Should use Vitamin B-12 Complex with it. 

So, now you know the hot products on the market for successful coccidiosis treatment. But, you’re wondering how much to give. Let’s get into dosage, shall we?

Dosages for Treatment: DiMethox 

Many goat producers have the DiMethox 12.5% on hand to treat coccidia. My veterinarian recommends this one and has it on hand for me to purchase. So, it’s the one I use.

DiMethox 12.5% solution is my #1 pick for treating coccidiosis effectively.  Many producers use this as well. While it comes in liquid and powder form, I prefer liquid drenching to make sure each affected animal is receiving the recommended dosage.

The dosage for succesful coccidiosis treatment using the DiMethox 12.5% is 1.6 cc per 5 pounds for 5-7 days in a row. 

Also, Di-Methox 12.5% could also be added to drinking water; follow package directions. However, I’m not a fan of adding to drinking water because I’m not sure how much medication the animal is receiving to successfully treat coccidiosis. I would rather exactly how much by drenching.

Consequently, Dimethox 40% is considerably stronger than the usual 12.5% drinking water solution.  So, you can use 1/3 as much of the 40%. The dosage is 1 cc per 15 pounds for at least 5 days and no more than 7 days.

Next, I’ll give you a recommended dosage for Baycox if that’s the one you choose to use for successful coccidiosis treatment. 

Dosage for Treatment: Baycox (Toltrazuril)

If you’re looking for successful coccidiosis treatment and prevention in young kids, many goat producers will recommend Baycox. It’s a one-time dose, which is why producers like it. 

But, there’s still a repetition if you use it. Here’s why. 

First of all, something you need to know is that the life cycle of coccidia is 21 days or three weeks. Therefore, for prevention, many producers will start treating their kids at a few weeks old and then give another dosage every three weeks. 

Also, you could repeat the treatment in 10 days if you still have an outbreak. 

So, the dosage recommended is 1 cc per 5 pounds. Again, I’ve not used this but many other goat producers have successfully. 

Now, for the dosage treatments for Sulmet and Corid.

Dosages for Treatment Options: Sulmet & Corid

Sulmet is another sulfa-based medication that many producers use to treat coccidiosis with much success. It is a powder base, so here’s how to mix:

  • Dissolve 1 and 1/4 teaspoons powder into 1 cup of water.
  • And the dosage is 1 cc per 5 pounds for 5 to 7 days.

By day 3, most goats start coming around and responding to treatment. Be sure to treat for AT LEAST 5 DAYS no matter what.

Finally, Corid is a medication that is readily available. You can purchase it here and at Tractor Supply Company. I don’t recommend using Corid unless you have Vitamin B12 Complex on hand because Corid is a Thiamine inhibitor. 

Veterinarians still recommend Corid as a successful coccidiosis treatment option. So, that is why I’m including it in this post. 

Here’s the dose recommendations for Corid: 

  • 6 cc per 25 pounds
  • 12 cc per 50 pounds
  • 18 cc per 75 pounds
  • 24 cc per 100 pounds

As a long-time goat producer, I do not recommend using CoRid. Why? Because it is a thiamine inhibitor. The use of it could eventually lead to other problems, such as Polio.

So, as long as you supplement the B-12 Complex, you shouldn’t have any problems with thiamine becoming deficient in your goat. 

Successful Coccidiosis treatment

How Effective Is Coccidiosis Control?

Coccidiosis control in goats can be effective with proper management practices and the use of appropriate medications. However, complete eradication of coccidia from a goat herd is usually not possible due to the widespread nature of the parasite in the environment.

Effective coccidiosis control strategies in goats include:

  1. Sanitation: Keeping pens and pastures clean and dry can help reduce the buildup of coccidia oocysts in the environment, which can lower the risk of infection.
  2. Pasture Management: Rotational grazing and resting pastures can help reduce the concentration of coccidia oocysts in the environment.
  3. Hygiene: Practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands and equipment, can help prevent the spread of coccidia between goats.
  4. Anticoccidial Medications: Medications such as sulfonamides, amprolium, and toltrazuril can be used to treat and prevent coccidiosis in goats. These medications should be used according to label instructions and under the guidance of a veterinarian.
  5. Nutrition: Providing goats with a balanced diet can help support their immune system, making them more resistant to coccidiosis.

While these strategies can help control coccidiosis in goats, it’s important to note that some level of coccidia exposure is normal and may even be beneficial in building immunity in goats. Regular monitoring of fecal samples and consultation with a veterinarian can help ensure effective coccidiosis control in goat herds.

Recovery of Severe Cases

So, I’ve just explained several successful coccidiosis treatment options. Any of these should do the trick if you catch symptoms early and begin treatment.

However, extreme cases can cause fever, dehydration and extreme diarrhea. Therefore, there may be a need for further treatment:

  • First of all, an antibiotic, such as LA-200,  Nuflor or Biomycin. Check with a veterinarian for proper antibiotic and treatment dosage.
  • Probiotics is never ever a bad idea to repopulate the goat’s gut with live bacteria. Use an oral probiotic for ruminants.
  • Then, please recoat the lining of the tummy using 5 cc Pepto-Bismol or Kao Pectate given orally.
  • If there’s a fever (normal is 101.5 degrees F to 103.5 degrees F), use prescription banamine. (see more below)
  • Finally, for dehydration, an electrolyte can be used, such as ReSorb. You can also use Gatorade or Pedialyte if cattle electrolytes are not available.

Important: Do not give probiotics concurrent with antibiotics. Give probiotics only after you complete the consecutive day antibiotic treatment.

To reduce any fevers, banamine is an excellent prescription medication to have on hand. It is great for both calming the gut and bringing down fever. Normal goat body temperature ranges from 101.5 degrees F. to 103.5 degrees F. Determine the goat’s temperature rectally by using a digital thermometer.

Also, banamine should be administered intramuscularly (IM) or sub-cutaneously (SQ). Please double check the dose approved in goats with your vet. Banamine can cause stomach ulcers if over used or used in a way not directed by a veterinarian. 

Rehydrating is extremely important. If your goat won’t drink water, stomach tubing may be a necessary measure to administer proper electrolytes for rehydration. It’s also important to get the goat to eat and increase body weight gain. Feed intake is key with recovery.

Over time, medication protocols will evolve and change. Coccidia will become resistant to certain ones as time goes on unless they continue to be used correctly. 

Natural Products and Methods for Treating Coccidiosis?

In recent years, natural methods for treating coccidiosis in goats are often sought by those looking to avoid or reduce the use of conventional medications. While natural treatments can be a part of a holistic approach to goat health, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian for a comprehensive treatment plan.

Here are some natural methods that are sometimes used:

  1. Herbal Supplements or Essential Oils: Some herbs are believed to have antiparasitic properties and can be used as supplements to support the goat’s immune system and help fight coccidia. Examples include garlic, oregano, thyme, and wormwood. These should be used with caution, as some herbs can be toxic in large quantities.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar: Adding a small amount of raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to the goat’s drinking water is thought to create an environment in the digestive tract that is less favorable to parasites. However, scientific evidence supporting this claim is limited.
  3. Diatomaceous Earth: Food-grade diatomaceous earth is sometimes used as a natural dewormer. It is thought to work by absorbing fats and oils from the outer layer of parasites, causing them to dehydrate and die. However, its effectiveness against coccidia is not well established.
  4. Probiotics: Probiotic supplements can help support the goat’s digestive health and strengthen the immune system, which may help in fighting off coccidia. Yogurt with live cultures or commercial probiotic supplements can be used.
  5. Clean Environment: Maintaining a clean and dry environment for goats plays an important role in prevention. Keeping the area clean can help reduce the risk of coccidia infection. Regularly removing feces from pens and pastures can help prevent the buildup of coccidia oocysts.

Some of these products mentioned above are not proven to control coccidiosis.

They are not the best option long term. It’s important to note that while these natural methods may have some benefits, they are not a substitute for veterinary care. If your goat is showing signs of coccidiosis or other health issues, consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

Here are some more tips to avoid when you’re needing to treat coccidiosis. 

Successful Coccidiosis Treatment

These are NOT Great Options for Treating Coccidiosis

While some natural methods and conventional medications can be effective in treating coccidiosis in goats, there are also options that are not recommended or are less effective. Here are some examples:

  1. Overuse of Antibiotics: While antibiotics can be used to treat secondary bacterial infections associated with coccidiosis, they do not directly target the coccidia parasites. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance and should be avoided unless prescribed by a veterinarian.
  2. Ineffective Dewormers: Some dewormers may not be effective against coccidia or may only target certain types of parasites. It’s important to use dewormers specifically recommended for coccidia by a veterinarian.
  3. Home Remedies Without Evidence: While some natural remedies like herbal supplements and probiotics may support overall health and immunity in goats, their effectiveness against coccidia is not well-supported by scientific evidence. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian before using these remedies.
  4. Failure to Address Environmental Factors: Simply treating the goat without addressing the underlying environmental factors that contribute to coccidia transmission, such as poor sanitation, overcrowding, and inadequate nutrition, can lead to recurring infections.
  5. Delay in Seeking Veterinary Care: Coccidiosis can be a serious disease, especially in young or debilitated goats. Delaying veterinary care can lead to severe illness or death. If you suspect coccidiosis in your goats, seek veterinary advice promptly for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

It’s important to work closely with a veterinarian to develop a comprehensive treatment and prevention plan for coccidiosis in goats. Avoid using unproven remedies and ensure that environmental factors are addressed to reduce the risk of reinfection.

How to Prevent Coccidiosis from Happening

Coccidia sounds awful, doesn’t it? Fortunately, there are a few things the goat producer can do to try to prevent coccidiosis from even happening.

Proper nutrition is the icing on the cake for prevention and for recovery.  Green leaves and vegetation are the best natural product to feed to a sick goat. And green leaves will be the first food that it will eat, followed by hay. Keeping the gut in check is super important. 

Also, good mineral is another important part of a goat’s nutrition. Nutrition is key to raising a healthy goat herd. 

Here are some other ways to try to prevent coccidiosis:

  1. First of all, make sure feed has a coccidiostat to prevent an outbreak. 
  2. Feed up off the ground.
  3. Keep animal pens clean and under-crowded. Avoid large numbers of goats in a pen if possible.
  4. Try this lower stress weaning method I use.
  5. Rotating pastures. Plenty of clean pasture spots is essential with raising goats. Clean pastures are an important measure to successfully treat coccidiosis.

Please Note: The coccidiostat in the feed does not treat an outbreak. So don’t go running to buy a medicated feed to treat your goats’ coccidiosis problem. It’s only for prevention.

But, no matter how hard you try to prevent or successfully treat coccidiosis, your herds are still at risk. Coccidia is always there. Goats will always carry a manageable load in their gut. It’s their environmental conditions that will cause an outbreak. 

In conclusion, you need to be ready for an outbreak. It’s best to just be aware of the symptoms and treatment options available for proactive and responsible combat against this nasty protozoa.

Different Species of Coccidia

Coccidia are single-celled parasites that can infect a wide range of animals, including livestock, poultry, and even humans. There are many species of coccidia, each of which tends to infect specific hosts. Here are some common species of coccidia that infect different animals:

  1. Eimeria Species: Eimeria Parasites are a genus of coccidia that infects a wide range of animals, including cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and rabbits. Each species of Eimeria tends to be host-specific, meaning that they typically only infect one species of animal.
  2. Isospora suis: This species of coccidia infects pigs and can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues in piglets.
  3. Isospora felis and Isospora rivolta: These species of coccidia infect cats and can cause diarrhea, especially in young kittens.
  4. Isospora canis: This species of coccidia infects dogs and can cause diarrhea, especially in puppies.
  5. Toxoplasma gondii: While not technically a coccidia, T. gondii is a related protozoan parasite that can infect a wide range of mammals, including humans. It is commonly transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated food or water.

These are just a few examples of the many species of coccidia that can infect animals. Each species of coccidia has a specific life cycle and tends to infect specific tissues within the host animal. Proper diagnosis and treatment of coccidial infections require identification of the specific species involved, which is typically done through microscopic examination of fecal samples.

successfully treat coccidiosis

Wrap Up & Resources

So, now you have the knowledge and skill to identify, treat and control protozoan parasites also known as Coccidia in your goats. I’ve also given you some tips to prevent outbreaks so that you won’t have to deal with economic loss and death of your goats kids. 

Friend, if you know of somebody who needs to hear this message, please take the time and share it with your friend. If you never want to miss a single episode ever again, you can also subscribe and listen for free at:

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You know the message: You deserve to live and work the way you want to without the worry, without the fear and the overwhelm. Here are some great resources to help you today:

Merck Vet Manual

Michigan State University

North Carolina State University

And that’s why I’m here today, my friend. To help and serve and teach you what I have learned to make your life a little bit easier and your time more manageable.

So my friend, thank you again so much for listening.

~ Happy Goating! ~