Coccidiosis is a prevalent intestinal disease that affects various animals, including domestic pets like dogs and cats. The disease is caused by a group of single-celled parasites known as coccidia. Coccidiosis can be a significant threat to pet health, and, in severe cases, it can even be fatal.1
Despite the prevalent use of contemporary medicines like ionophores and synthetic anticoccidials for managing coccidiosis, the escalating problem of drug resistance and the growing public preference for animal products free from pharmaceutical intervention have sparked significant interest in natural remedies.2
This article explores three potential remedies for Coccidiosis in pets.
The coccidia parasites have a complex life cycle, part of which involves the formation of tough, protective structures called oocysts that are shed in the feces of infected animals.1 Pets can contract coccidiosis by coming into contact with these infected feces, usually by sniffing, licking, or ingesting contaminated material.
In some cases, pets can also get the infection indirectly through contaminated water, food, or even on the fur and feathers of other animals. Young animals with compromised immune systems or pets living in crowded or unsanitary conditions are especially at risk.1
Signs of coccidiosis can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the general health of the pet. Some pets might show no signs of infection, while others may become seriously ill. Typical symptoms of coccidiosis include:
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it's important to seek veterinary care immediately. While coccidiosis can be severe, prompt diagnosis and treatment can effectively manage the disease.1
Following a holistic approach to pet health care, several natural remedies can be implemented to manage coccidiosis in dogs. These remedies, supported by scientific research, can serve as potential alternatives or complementary approaches to conventional treatments, offering a more gentle and less invasive way to restore your pet's health.
Garlic has long been known for its broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, which include antiparasitic effects.3 These properties are mainly attributed to allicin, a compound produced when garlic is crushed or chopped. Allicin has been found to inhibit the growth of various pathogens, including coccidia.4
A study on broiler chickens infected with coccidiosis found that those fed a diet supplemented with garlic powder significantly reduced oocyst (coccidia eggs) shedding compared to the control group.5 This indicates that garlic may help control poultry coccidiosis by reducing the disease's spread.
Oregano oil contains several potent compounds, including carvacrol and thymol, which have been shown to have strong antiparasitic effects.6
In a trial with broiler chickens, those given a diet supplemented with oregano oil demonstrated significantly reduced symptoms and lower oocyst counts compared to the control group. The study suggested that oregano oil could be an effective natural remedy for coccidiosis.7
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. A balanced gut microbiome can help protect against infections by outcompeting pathogens for resources, enhancing the immune response, and producing antimicrobial substances.8
Several studies have shown the potential of probiotics in controlling coccidiosis. For instance, one study found that broiler chickens given a probiotic supplement exhibited lower oocyst counts and better weight gain compared to those in the control group.9
As concerns about drug resistance continue to mount, these natural solutions present hopeful alternatives for preventing and treating coccidiosis in dogs. However, further research is indispensable to fully comprehend their potency and establish the most effective ways to incorporate them into pet health routines.
Do you have a natural remedy for Coccidiosis in dogs and cats? Please share it with us!
1. Dubey, J. P., & Fayer, R. (2015). Coccidiosis of domestic animals. In Parasitic Protozoa of Farm Animals and Pets (pp. 3-107). Springer, Cham.
2. Lindsay, D. S., Dubey, J. P., & Blagburn, B. L. (1997). Biology of Isospora spp. from humans, nonhuman primates, and domestic animals. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 10(1), 19-34.
3. Borlinghaus, J., Albrecht, F., Gruhlke, M. C., Nwachukwu, I. D., & Slusarenko, A. J. (2014). Allicin: chemistry and biological properties. Molecules, 19(8), 12591-12618.
4. Ankri, S., & Mirelman, D. (1999). Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. Microbes and infection, 1(2), 125-129.
5. Durak, M. İ., Çamlıdağ, I., & İlhan, T. (2016). Effects of garlic powder on Eimeria tenella infection in broiler chickens. Parasitology Research, 115(12), 4691-4695.
6. Nazzaro, F., Fratianni, F., De Martino, L., Coppola, R., & De Feo, V. (2013). Effect of essential oils on pathogenic bacteria. Pharmaceuticals, 6(12), 1451-1474.
7. Giannenas, I., Papadopoulos, E., Tsalie, E., Triantafillou, E., Henikl, S., Teichmann, K., & Tontis, D. (2011). Assessment of dietary supplementation with carvacrol or thymol containing feed additives on performance, intestinal microbiota and antioxidant status of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquaculture, 315(3-4), 567-572.
8. Gaggìa, F., Mattarelli, P., & Biavati, B. (2010). Probiotics and prebiotics in animal feeding for safe food production. International journal of food microbiology, 141, S15-S28.
9. Ritzi, M. M., Abdelrahman, W., Mohnl, M., & Dalloul, R. A. (2014). Effects of probiotics and application methods on performance and response of broiler chickens to an Eimeria challenge. Poultry science, 93(11), 2772-2778.