Coccidia....please help!

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Post   » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:20 pm

I am absolutely freaking out, someone please put my mind to rest. I have a bad panic disorder and am scared about my piggies.

I've had pigs for ten years and never really had any with diarrhea before. They are all rescue pigs.
Yesterday I noticed some strange poos, clumped together and a bit wet. My oldest pig, Pearl, is eight and on medicine for fluid retention due to a heart disease so I thought maybe it was a complication of this. I checked her bum and vagina and there was a bit of liquid poo there which I cleaned off.
Today she is eating fine, seems very happy and her poos are normal.
Her cage mate, Bay, a two year old boar, looked unhappy and wasn't eating his pellets. I checked his bum and he was really messy, so I cleaned it and separated him to see if he was passing poo. He eventually passed some slightly formed but soft poo. He has been eating hay.

I took him to the vet today and his poos started forming better once we got there. The vet tested one of his poos. He said there were only a few coccidia evident. I freaked out because I know from reading about it that it can be serious but my vet says that pigs can carry it naturally in the gut and he doesn't think he needs antibiotics because he doesn't seem too unwell and it would upset his stomach further. He said I would have to administer it to the whole group of three.
I've come home to read up about it and am freaking out now because everything that mentions coccidia is doom and gloom.
My question is, is it true that pigs can have some coccidia in them and not be ill? Do I have to eradicate it or will his system be dealing with it?

I don't want anything to happen to my babies. I am disabled so it is hard for me to disinfect everything. My third pig, Ruby, is the youngest and she always has a slightly distended tummy. She had bloat once but recovered. They never seem to be in pain and I watch them closely.
All the poos seem back to normal now.
I thought it might be a bit of dodgy hay or a bit of a reaction to a veg because they seem to be getting past it now.
Could this coccidia just be regular levels that are in the poo and just happen to be showing up because I sent the poo away for a sample?

Thanks for any advice.

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Post   » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:26 pm

I wouldn't worry. The poop shapes is back to normal (that's for all three pigs, I assume, not just the last one you were discussing). If they were having problems with coccidia, you wouldn't be seeing improvement.

Soft poop is always a cause for concern, but not for panic. They can have soft poop for many reasons. You really need to worry, and get them to a vet ASAP, if it turns into full-on diarrhea. If the soft poop continues for a while, it's worth considering changes in the diet, or the addition of a probiotic, to see if it improves.


Post   » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:30 pm

Thanks bpatters.

I'm actually having a panic attack right now. I get very stressed when my pigs get sick, especially if it is something I haven't dealt with before. All the poos of all three are back to normal now and they are munching on some fresh hay right now.
I wonder if anyone knows if it is common for coccidia to show up without being harmful to them, like my vet says.

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Post   » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:36 pm

I agree, if the poops are back to normal, don't worry. I had a pig diagnosed with Coccidia once, but I never gave him the treatment that vet gave me. He was just a pup and I didn't want to treat him unnecessarily since his poops were normal. He lived to his old age with no further trouble.


Post   » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:21 pm

Thanks Pink Rufus. I am so glad to hear that. :)

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Post   » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:32 pm

I had a couple pigs with coccidia. My vet said the same thing - almost all pigs carry it. The pigs that got sick with it have compromised immune systems. They're in the same cage, so the 2 got it, but the third pig living with them who has a healthy immune system did NOT get sick.

Once my pigs started on the Albon, they were fine. No worries!!


Post   » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:05 pm

Thank you Jacqueline! I feel better now knowing other peoples experiences.
All three pigs are having floor time now and they seem quite happy. Bay's poos seem back to normal, just a little bit moist and shiny. I don think I will put them on a course of meds seeing as it seems to have resolved itself and that I don't know if the coccidia was there previously and not the cause of recent diarrhoea.

This forum is a lifesaver.

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