Coccidiosis in Birds & Medication Options

Published by Julie Madison on

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Coccidiosis in Birds and Medication Options

Springwater Avian Health has multiple products for combatting coccidiosis in your birds. Coccidiosis is encountered by most all birds, usually before adulthood and often  multiple strains. It is of great concern to bird keepers as it can lead to malnutrition, damage to the intestinal tract and even death. When a young bird looks or acts ill, coccidiosis is often what ails them.

Coccidiosis is a common intestinal disease of birds, including pet birds and poultry, caused by coccidian protozoa. There are multiple strains of coccidia that affect birds. Birds of all ages can be affected, but young birds are more susceptible to severe illness. Clinical signs of coccidiosis include diarrhea, weight loss, blood in stool with some strains and poor growth. In severe cases, the disease can be fatal. To prevent coccidiosis, it is important to maintain good hygiene in the chicken coop and to practice proper feeding and management techniques. Even with best practices cocci can occur in your pets, hobby birds and poultry flocks. Once a bird survives a strain of cocci a natural resistance occurs. Even birds that survive previous infections may be affected by a different strain, or the same strain if they have a compromised immune system. It is important to not that blood in the stool is not always present when birds are infected with cocci so pay attention to the other symptoms when assessing the health of your birds.

Note:

When treating for cocci it is important to not give your birds multivitamins that contain Thiamine (B1) as it is what cocci feed on. Dosing amount is dependent on species of bird.

Corid/Amproluim is the most widely available coccidiostat in the United States and its sole mechanism of action is blocking Thiamine uptake to kill the coccidian protozoa attacking your birds. Most multivitamins contain Thiamine (B1) so carefully read product labels. Amprolium is also far from the most effective medication for combating coccidiosis, if its what you have in a pinch I recommend starting treatment immediately and then ordering one of the better medications and start that as soon as it arrives. Most cocci medications need to be administered at least twice to catch the life cycle of the coccidiosis. Oocytes are not affected by many of the treatments so you need to make sure to follow through with a second round of treatment to eliminate them. 

Dosing: The treatment schedule for Corid/Amprolium is 5 days on, 10 days off, 5 days on. If using the Corid/Amprolium powder, which needs to be weighed with a gram scale for proper use, the amount or powder per gallon of water is  0.32oz per gallon for severe cases, 0.16oz per gallon moderate cases. Corid/Amprolium liquid solution is 9ml per gallon for severe cases and 4.5ml per gallon for moderate cases. Myself, I always use the “severe” dosing if all I have available is Corid/Amprolium due to it not being the most effective treatment option anyhow.

Pantex Cocci-Geel is my first line choice for cocci treatment. Cocci-Geel is easy to administer to a group of birds as it is added to the drinking water. Pantex Cocci-Geel uses a combination of medications, vitamins and amino acids to treat coccidiosis in birds. Birds have to battle multiple strains of cocci in their lifetime but they are most susceptible when they are young and still growing. This product contains the most used coccidiostat, amprolium, combined with the anti-protozoal ronidazole, and supportive vitamins and amino acids for much improved outcomes. My personal experience with this product makes it one I always have on hand. Cocci is extremely common and basically unavoidable in the climate of my geographical region and Cocci-Geel has greatly improved the outcomes of combating cocci in my birds. Cocci-Geel should be mixed as directed on the jar and administered in fresh drinking water for 5 days, then off 10 days, then again given for 5 days.

Pantex Pantacox contains the coccidiostat Toltrazuril, brand name Baycox. Pantacox is especially useful when amprolium resistance is an issue and is also a first line choice of mine for treating individual birds as it is easy to dose an individual bird by weight if needed. One milliliter of the solution contains 25mg of toltrazuril. The mechanism of action of Toltrazuril interferes with the division of the protozoal nucleus. Pantacox can also be added to the drinking water as directed on the bottle. If a bird is so affected by cocci that it is not drinking properly administering Pantacox by weight orally guarantees they are getting the treatment they need to fight the coccidiosis. Treatment course for toltrazuril is 2 days on, course may be repeated in 5 days.

Endcox contains the same medication as Pantex Pantacox, toltrazuril, but in a powdered form which makes it easy and cost effective to administer in the drinking water of large groups of birds needing treatment. Treatment course for toltrazuril is 2 days, course may be repeated in 5 days

Second line choices for resistant cases of Coccidiosis

We have multiple options for treating reoccurring and resistant strains of cocci including several sulfa drug options, diclazuril tablets.

Medpet Coximed is an oral tablet that contains 5mg of diclazuril. Tablets are ideal when a bird is suffering from coccidiosis and they loose their desire to eat or drink as they can be dosed orally, by the weight of the bird. When a bird is so overwhelmed with cocci that it is not eating or drinking you cannot rely on a coccidiosis medication that is in drinking water as they most likely will not consume enough medicated water to start combatting the cocci. Tablets you can place on your birds tongue and encourage them to swallow so you know they are getting the medication they desperately need to survive. Treatment course is 3-5 days long depending on severity and may be repeated 5 days after last dose.

DAC Trimethoprim Sulfa Powder is an alternative to treating coccidiosis in birds that is resistant to amprolium and also effective against types of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria such as e-coli and salmonella. This medication is convenient when multiple birds need treatment as it goes in the drinking water. The active ingredients in DAC Trimethoprim Sulfa are Sulfadiazine Sodium and Trimethoprim. Treatment course is 5 days.

DAC Adeno Extra Tablets are a similar drug to DAC Trimethoprim Sulfa Powder, they contain the active ingredients of Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim. This is another good option if you need to directly dose your affected animals orally,  based on weight and make sure they are getting the treatment they need to compact cocci. Treatment course is 5 days.

DAC Cocci Tabs are a sulfonamide antibiotic, containing Sulfachlorpyridazine Sodium, used in the treatment of coccidiosis. Tablets are easy to administer orally and you are assured your bird is getting the needed dose of medication. If a strain of cocci is being resistant to other treatments or your bird has lost interest in drinking then this is a treatment option. Treatment course for DAC Cocci Tabs is 3 days on, 5 days off and then another 3 days on.

Pantex ESB Plus contains sulfaclozine-sodium and is a good product to use against coccidiosis resistant to treatment with just Amprolium or birds with repeated issues with coccidiosis. This product is an easy to mix, water soluble powder, used in the drinking water and accepted well by birds. Treatment course for ESB Plus is 6 days on, 7 days of, then another 6 days on. This product is the choice for severe cases that have resisted other treatment options, including the ones above.

Why so many sulfa options? We carry a variety of options in sulfa drugs cause unfortunately fighting cocci is not a one drug resolves all battle. Sometimes numerous drugs have to be tried to defeat resistant strains of cocci. Since birds will most likely encounter several strains of cocci before adulthood it is good to have more than on tool in your birds first aid kit. The best way to know if your birds have recovered from coccidiosis is to do a fecal test. 

As always, have any additional questions feel free to ask! The best AND FASTEST way to contact us is via Facebook or Instagram messaging! 

Categories: Bird Care

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