Coccidia- Very common in puppies. Coccidia are small protozoans that live in the intestinal tracts of dogs. They cause disease most commonly in puppies less than 6 months of age. A puppy is not born with the Coccidia in his intestine. However, once born, the puppy is frequently exposed to his mother's feces. And if the mother is shedding the Coccidia in her stool, the puppies may get it in their mouth and become infected. Since puppies have no immunity to Coccidia, the organisms reproduce and multiply in great numbers in the puppies' intestine's. Some puppies have it and don't show any symptoms. Stress from leaving their littermates can cause the Coccidia to become active and cause the puppy to become very ill. Coccidia is very contagious to the other littermates.
Symptoms: Diarrhea-mild to severe, blood and mucous in the stool, vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration, and death if not corrected.
Treatment: Albon (Sulfadimethoxine) and Tribrissen (trimethoprimsulfadiazine). These drugs are obtained at the Vet's office. These drugs do not kill the organism, but rather inhibit their reproduction capabilities and allow the puppy to build up his own immunity, to develop and remove the organisms from his body.
Giardia-Protozoa that live in wet, cold environments such as lawns, parks, kennels, etc. Once ingested, the protozoa live and multiply in the small intestines of dogs.
Symptoms: Most dogs don't show any symptoms. In those that become ill with this protozoa will have diarrhea-acute, chronic, or intermittent. They usually won't lose their appetite, but may lose weight. The feces are often pale, have a bad odor, and appear greasy/mucousy. In the intestines, it prevents nutrients from being absorbed into their body. It can be transmitted to humans.
Treatment: Fenbendazole, Metronidazole. These are obtained from the Vet.
Parvovirus- Currently the most common infectious disorder in dogs. Highly contagious, and can live in the ground for 2 years. The normal incubation period (