What causes coccidiossis?

A vet came to the farm yesterday and diagnosed our bulls with it. Our papa, and baby bull had the runs for a bit, papa started first, n now baby's got it. They're on pills now, and things seem ok. But we're trying to prevent a recurrence, so we need to know the cause to see if there's any preventative measures we can do to prevent them from getting sick again. Prevention is better than cure right? So we'd like some helpful tips on preventive care we can do on the farm. Thanks for informative answers.

1 Answer

  • 8 years ago
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    The parasites that cause Coccidiosis in cattle are generally Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii. Single cell oocytes, or eggs, are shed in the feces of infected cattle. The oocytes are resistant to disinfectant and can remain in the environment for long periods of time, especially in moist, shady areas. The oocytes sporulate and then the spores are ingested by cattle and are released into the intestine.

    In order to prevent Coccidiosis (and other diseases, parasites, etc.), good management practices must be used. The primary concern in coccidiosis outbreaks is the potential to spread the disease to other susceptible animals in the herd. Coccidiosis is primarily a disease of young calves where there is crowding, stress, or non-immune animals. Older cows can act as reservoirs and shed the oocytes into the environment. Stressors such as weaning, shipping, dietary changes, shows or sales, etc. can lead to an outbreak. If you have older cattle that are immune to their own endemic species of coccidia, they can become infected when they are moved to a new herd and exposed to a different species.

    Here are some good management practices that will help prevent Coccidiosis:

    1) prevent drinking water and feed from becomingcontaminatedd with feces

    2) keep pens dry and supplied with plenty of dry bedding

    3) use pastures that are well drained

    4) raise watering troughs above the ground

    5) prevent overgrazing

    6) isolate heavily parasitized animals from the rest of the herd

    7) minimize stress as much as possible

    If good management practices are followed and the animals have good nutrition, the chances of becoming infected with various parasites in lessened. Minimize stress, feed good quality feed, and make sure the barn, pens, etc. are clean and sanitary.

    I hope this helps and I hope your cattle will get better soon

    Source(s): Senior Animal Science major, emphasis in Pre-Vet and Livestock
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