Diseases / List of Parasitic Diseases / Disease description:

Intestinal Coccidiosis in Hedgehogs, Lagomorphs and Ferrets (with notes on Bears)

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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

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General and References

Disease Summary

A protozoan infection of the intestine, commonly found in a wide variety of species but rarely causing disease in free-living animals. (B208.16.w16c)
HEDGEHOGS A protozoan infection which occasionally causes intestinal disease. (J15.21.w1, B22.27.w3)
LAGOMORPHS
  • A protozoal infection caused by Eimeria spp., most commonly seen in rabbits aged between four and sixteen weeks and usually seen in rabbits kept in crowded conditions (B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2)
FERRETS An intestinal protozoan infection, usually subclinical or self-limiting. Chronic carriers are known. (B627.16.w16)

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Coccidiasis: Infection with coccidia without clinical disease is more properly termed coccidiasis or coccidial infection. 
  • Isospora infection.
  • Eimeria infection.

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Disease Type

 Parasitic Infection

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

In Hedgehogs
  • Protozoan parasite - Eimeria spp., Isospora spp. (J15.21.w1)
  • Isospora erinacei, Eimeria rastegaiv and other Eimeria spp. (B22.27.w3)
  • Isospora rastegaivae, Isospora erinacei, Isospora schmaltzi, Eimeria perardi, Eimeria ostertagia, Yakimovella erinacei. (B228.9.w9)
  • Eimeria perardi (J156.12.w1)
  • Isospora rastagaiev appears to be important in hedgehogs. (B291.12.w12)
  • Isospora rastegaievae (J157.88.w1)
    • Sporulation takes 24-48 hours; the developmental cycle in the hedgehog's gut takes six to 10 days. (B337.3.w3)

In Bears
  • Eimeria albertensis and Eimeria borealis were detected and described as new species in faecal samples from Ursus americanus - American black bear in Alberta, Canada. (J31.17.w1, J345.3.w2)
    • Eimeria albertensis oocysts are ellipsoidal, double-walled with a distinct micropyle. Size 41.5 (range 36.5 - 43.8) m by 21.7 (range 19.0-22.3 m), with elongate-ovoid sporocysts, 14.7 (range 10.9-18.7) by 7.7 (range 7.2-10.9) m. (J31.17.w1)
    • Eimeria borealis oocysts are ellipsoidal to slightly concave, double-walled with an indistinct micropyle. Size 30.2 (28.8 +/- 32.8) m by 14.8 (14.6-15.8) m, with ovoid sporocysts, 10.1 (range 7.3-11.5) by 6.1 (range 3.6-7.3) m. (J31.17.w1)
  • Eimeria ursi and Isospora fonsecai were reported from Ursus arctos - Brown bear from the USSR. (J345.3.w2)
  • Oocysts of an Isospora sp. were detected in "dancing bears" in Turkey. (P85.1.w7)

In Lagomorphs
  • In general, each genus of lagomorphs has its own species of intestinal coccidia. Some coccidia can be transmitted between genera. (J31.19.w2)

The following descriptions and information may be useful in distinguishing between oocysts found in the faeces.

  • Eimeria coecicola (B24, B600.10.w10, J31.19.w2)
    • Affects the jejunum and ileum; of significant pathogenicity. (B614.10.w10)
    • Hosts: domestic and wild rabbits in Hungary and the former USSR. (B24)
    • Develops in the posterior ileum and caecum, with asexual development in the posterior small intestinal villi and gametogenous stages in the caecum, in crypt cells. (B24)
    • Oocysts: 25 - 40 m x 15 - 21 m, with a smooth, light yellow wall and a micropyle. Take three days to sporulate at room temperature. (B24)
    • Negligible pathogenicity. (B24)
  • Eimeria elongata (B24, B600.10.w10)
    • Hosts: domestic rabbit, France. (B24)
    • Considered a possible synonym of Eimeria neoleporis. (B24)
    • Oocysts elongated ellipsoids, greying, with a broad, readily-visible micropyle. Take four days to sporulate. (B24)
  • Eimeria exigua (B24, B614.10.w10)
    • Hosts: Domestic rabbit, Greenland hare, Cottontail rabbit. (B24)
    • Oocysts: small, subspherical, 14.5 x 12.7 m with a smooth wall and no visible micropyle. (B24)
    • No pathogenicity reported. (B24)
  • Eimeria flavesceus
    • Affects the lower small intestine, caecum and colon; of significant pathogenicity. (B614.10.w10)
  • Eimeria intestinalis (B24, B600.10.w10)
    • Affects the ileum; of significant pathogenicity. (B614.10.w10)
    • Hosts: Domestic rabbit in India, Hungary and the former USSR. (B24)
    • Relatively uncommon. (B24)
    • In the small intestine. (B24)
    • Oocysts pyriform, mean 27 x 18 m, range 23-30 x 15 - 20 m, with a smooth yellowish wall and a visible micropyle. Sporulate in one to two days at room temperature. (B24)
    • First generation schizonts develop colonially at the base of villi in the distal ileum, with up to three generations of schizonts reported and gamonts found from as soon as seven to eight days post infection. Pre-patent period 10 days. (B24)
  • Eimeria irresidua (B24)
    • One of the most pathogenic intestinal Eimeria spp. found in rabbits. (B600.10.w10)
    • Affects the small intestine; of significant pathogenicity. (B614.10.w10)
    • Hosts: domestic rabbit, Sylvilagus floridanus - Eastern cottontail, California jackrabbit Lepus ruficaudatus (? Lepus californicus - Black-tailed jackrabbit) and Lepus townsendii - White-tailed jackrabbit. (B24)
    • Found world-wide. (B24)
    • Oocysts ovoid, mean 38.3 x 25.6 m (range 31-43 x 22-27 m) with a smooth, light yellow wall and a distinct micropyle. Sporulate in 50 hours at room temperature. (B24)
    • Develop in the villous epithelium in the whole of the small intestine. Pre-patent period nine to ten days. (B24)
    • With heavy infection, destruction of epithelial cells, associated mucosal inflammation, haemorrhage into the lumen of the intestine, marked diarrhoea and high mortality. (B24)
  • Eimeria magna (B24)
    • One of the most pathogenic intestinal Eimeria spp. found in rabbits. (B600.10.w10)
    • Affects the jejunum and ileum; of significant pathogenicity. (B614.10.w10)
    • Hosts: domestic rabbit, cottontail rabbit [Sylvilagus sp., probably Sylvilagus floridanus - Eastern cottontail] Lepus californicus - Black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus europaeus - Brown hare, Lepus timidus - Mountain hare. (B24)
    • Worldwide distribution. (B24)
    • Oocysts ovoid, 35 x 24 m (range 31 - 40 x 22 - 26 m), yellow to yellowish-brown wall: "area around the micropyle especially prominent, with a shoulder-like or collar-like protrusion formed by the outer oocyst wall. The outer wall may become detached, especially during sporulation, and then the distinct collar-like protrusion is absent." Two to three days for sporulation. (B24)
    • Pre-patent period 7 - 8 days; patency for 15 - 19 days. (B24)
    • Considered markedly pathogenic; pathogenicity may vary with strain. (B24)
  • Eimeria matsubayashii (B24)
    • Affects the small intestine and caecum; of slight pathogenicity. (B614.10.w10)
    • "Broadly ovoidal", 24.8 x 19.2 m, range 22 - 29 x 16 - 22 m, with a smooth, light yellow wall and a visible micropyle. 32 - 40 hours to sporulation. (B24)
    • Developmental stages have been reported from the ileum (epithelial cells). (B24)
    • Prepatent period seven days. (B24)
  • Eimeria media (B24, B600.10.w10)
    • Affects the small and large intestines; of moderate pathogenicity. (B614.10.w10)
    • Hosts: domestic rabbit, cottontail rabbit [Sylvilagus sp., probably Sylvilagus floridanus - Eastern cottontail], jackrabbit [probably Lepus californicus - Black-tailed jackrabbit]. (B24)
    • Worldwide distribution. (B24)
    • Oocysts ellipsoidal, 31.2 x 18.5 m (range 27 - 36 x 15 - 22 m) with a smooth, light pinkish wall and a well-defined micropyle. Sporulate in two days. (B24)
    • Develop in the ileum, initially in epithelial cells, later subepithelial. Prepatent period 6 - 7 days. (B24)
    • Severe, fatal enteritis in young rabbits experimentally infected with 50,000 oocyts. (B24)
  • Eimeria nagpurensis (B24, B614.10.w10)
    • Domestic rabbits in India and Iran. (B24)
    • Oocycts "barrel-shaped, 20 - 27 m by 10 - 15 m, thin-walled and without micropyle or residuum." (B24)
    • Sporocysts are oat-shaped, with markedly pointed ends. (B24)
  • Eimeria neoleporis (B24, B600.10.w10)
    • Affects the small intestine and caecum; of significant pathogenicity. (B614.10.w10)
    • Cottontail and experimentally the domestic rabbit. USA, Europe and the former USSR. (B24)
    • Oocysts: subcylindrical to ellipsoidal, 38.8 x 19.8 m, range 32.8 - 44.3 x 15.7 - 22.8 m, with a smooth yellowish wall and a distinct micropyle. Two to three days to sporulation. (B24)
    • Develop in the posterior small intestine and the caecum. (B24)
    • Prepatent period about 12 days. (B24)
    • Moderately pathogenic, more in the cottontail than the domestic rabbit. (B24)
  • Eimeria perforans (B24, B600.10.w10)
    • Affects the small intestine; of slight pathogenicity; this is the most predominant species. (B614.10.w10)
    • Domestic rabbit, jackrabbit and cottontail, also Lepus europaeus - Brown hare and Greenland hare Lepus articus groenlandicus (Lepus arcticus - Arctic hare). Worldwide distribution. (B24)
    • Oocysts ovoid to ellipsoid, 22.7 x 14.2 m (range 15 - 29 x 11 - 17 m, with a smooth, colourless to light pink wall without a readily distinguishable micropyle. Sporulate in 30 - 56 hours at room temperature. (B24)
    • Prepatent period 5 - 6 days. (B24)
    • Low pathogenicity; may cause mild to moderate diarrhoea in young rabbits. (B24)
  • Eimeria piriformis (B24, B600.10.w10)
    • Domestic rabbits in France and Hungary. (B24)
    • Oocysts pyriform, 29 x 18 m (range 26 - 32 x 17 - 21 m) with a smooth, yellowish-brown double-contoured wall and a prominent micropyle at the tapering end. Sporulate in 24 - 48 hours. (B24)
    • Develop in the jejunum and ileum. (B24)
  • From Brachylagus idahoensis - Pygmy rabbit:
    • Eimeria brachylagia in the small intestines. (J11.91.w1)
  • Eimeria irresidua and Eimeria magna are the most important rabbit intestinal coccidia. (B24)
  • From Sylvilagus audubonii - Desert cottontail:
    • Eimeria audubonii: oocysts subspherical, average 21.2 x 17.1 m (15-25 x 13-20 m), without any micropyle. Wall in two distinct layers, inner greenish and absent at one end (may appear to have a micropyle), outer thin layer yellow. Most oocysts had sporulated after five days at 20 C. (J31.16.w1)
    • Eimeria neoirresidua: oocysts ovoid to ellipsoid, average 25.7 x 17.9 m (19-31 x 15-20 m), with a micropyle. Light bluish to yellow green, smooth outer wall thinnest opposite the micropyle. Most oocysts had sporulated after five days at 20 C. (J31.16.w1)
    • Eimeria poudrei oocysts ovoid to elliptoid, average 26.0 x 18.1 m (20-31 x 15-21 m), with a micropyle. Light bluish to yellow green, smooth outer wall thinest opposite the micropyle. Most oocysts had sporulated after five days at 20 C. (J31.16.w1)
    • Eimeria environ elongate-ovoid, smooth light bluish to yellow-green outer wall, of varying thickness, 25.4 x 18.3 m (range 20-30 x 17-21 m (with a distinct micropyle. Most oocysts had sporulated after five days at 20 C. (J31.16.w1)
    • Eimeria maior 41.5 x 27.0 m (37-51 x 24-35 m) broadly ovoid, with a rough outer wall, variable in thickness, bright yellow to yellow brown and tapering towards the micropyle after the widest point just below the middle of the oocyst. Two distinct layers to the wall. Most oocysts had sporulated after five days at 20 C. (J31.16.w1)
    • Eimeria media ovoid, light bluish to apple-green, irregular thickness smooth outer wall, thinnest opposite the mcropyle; the micropyles is distinct. 25.5 x 17.8 m, (19-33 x 14-21 m). Most oocysts had sporulated after five days at 20 C. (J31.16.w1)
  • From Ochotona spp.
    • Eimeria worleyi (Ochotona princeps - American pika)
      • Oocysts spherical to subspherical, mean 13.5 x 12.5 m (range 2 - 16 x 10 - 15 m), with a smooth outer wall, about 1.5 m thick, in two layers, the outer layer being light brown and the inner layer light green; there was no micropyle. 
    • Eimeria barretti (Ochotona princeps - American pika)
      • Oocysts ellipsoid to slightly ovoid, mean 32.9 x 23.8 m (range 27 - 36 x 21 - 27 m), with a smooth oocyst wall about 3 m thick, outer layer light brown, inner layer dark brown; with a micropyle. 
    • Eimeria pallasi (Ochotona pallasi - Pallas's pika)
      • Oocyts ellipsoidal or ovoid, mean 26.3 x 21.3 m (range 19-34 x 17-26 m), with a smooth wall, colourless, greenish or yellow-brown, 1.4 - 2.0 m thick, with two layers and no micropyle. 
    • Eimeria shubini (Ochotona pallasi - Pallas's pika)
      • Oocysts spherical, 22.1 - 22.3 m diameter, with a smooth wall, yellow-green, 1.3 - 1.6 m thick, in two layers.
    • Eimeria erschovi (Ochotona pallasi - Pallas's pika, Ochotona dauurica - Daurian pika)
      • Oocysts ovoid, ellipsoid or spherical, mean 21.1 x 18.5 m range 21 - 23 x 17 - 19 m (in another study, 25.6 x 20.2 m, range 22 - 31 x 16 - 23 m) with a two-layered wall and a micropyle.
    • Eimeria daurica (Ochotona dauurica - Daurian pika)
      • Oocysts cylindrical, ellipsoidal or elongated ellipsoidal, 20.6 x 14.1 m (range 17 - 23 x 13 - 15 m) with a single-layered wall and no micropyle.
    • Eimeria ochotona (Ochotona dauurica - Daurian pika)
      • Oocysts ovoid, 19.9 x 14.2 m (range 19 - 21 x 13 - 15 m) with a single-layer wall, 1.0 m thick, and with a micropyle.
    • Eimeria metelkini (Ochotona dauurica - Daurian pika)
      • Oocysts ovoid, 24.3 x 19.0 m (range 23 - 27 x 19 m) with a single-layer wall, 0.9 - 1.2 m thick and a micropyle. 

    (J31.19.w2)

    • A study of Ochotona princeps - American pika in Colorado detected three species of Eimeria and a new species, Isospora marquardti with spherical oocysts, 30.5 m diameter (range 23-36 m) a pitted wall, pale yellow and of uniform thickness (about 1.5 m) and no micropyle. (J31.19.w1)
    • In 137 Ochotona princeps - American pika in Colorado, seven distinct coccidial oocysts were found: Isospora marquardti (in 11.7%), Eimeria banffensis (in 24.1%), Eimeria calentinae (in 25.6%), Eimeria cryptobaretti (in 65.7%), Eimeria princepsis (in 59.9%), Eimeria worleyi (in 18.3%), and Eimeria klondikensis (in 22.6%). (J1.10.w7)
    • Completion of the endogenous cycles took 9 -10 days for Eineria irresidua, 7 days for Eimeria magna, six days for Eimeria media and fove days for Eimeria perforans, in experimentally infected domestic rabbits. (J11.27.w2)

The following lists were made in 1972:

In Oryctolagus:

  • Eimeria coecicola, Eimeria exigua, Eimeria intestinalis, Eimeria irresidua, Eimeria magna, Eimeria matsubayashii, Eimeria media, Eimeria nagpurensis, Eimeria perforans, Eimeria piriformis. (J31.19.w2)
  • Eimeria neoleporis (type host Sylvilagus) can be found in the small and large intestines. Three species of Eimeria from Oryctolagus have been transmitted to Sylvilagus and two others have been found naturally in Sylvilagus. (J31.19.w2)

In Sylvilagus:

  • Eimeria audubonii, Eimeria environ, Eimeria honessi, Eimeria maior, Eimeria minima, Eimeria neoirresidua, Eimeria neoleporis, Eimeria paulistana, Eimeria pintoensis, Eimeria poudrei, Eimeria sylvilagi. From four species of Sylvilagus. (J31.19.w2)

In Lepus:

Life cycle of Eimeria

  • Rabbits ingest the oocysts of this parasite from a contaminated environment. The oocysts are broken down by digestive enzymes in the duodenum releasing sporozoites. (B600.10.w10)
  • It is these sporozoites that cause clinical disease by invading the intestinal epithelial cells where they multiply asexually resulting in cellular damage of the intestine. (B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2)
  • Following asexual multiplication, sexual reproduction takes place and oocysts are released into the lumen of the gut and then shed in the faeces. (B609.2.w2)
  • The oocysts need oxygen and take a period of several days to become infective. (B600.10.w10)
  • Oocysts become infective one to four days after they are shed in the faeces. (B609.2.w2) They can survive many years in the environment but are sensitive to dry conditions. (B600.10.w10)
  • Each species of Eimeria found in rabbits is site-specific. (B600.10.w10)

In Ferrets

  • Eimeria furonis, Eimeria ictidea and Isospora laidlawii. (B627.16.w16)

Infective "Taxa"

Non-infective agents

--

Physical agents

Indirect / Secondary

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5); Nikki Fox BVSc MRCVS (V.w103); Gracia Vila-Garcia DVM, MSc, MRCVS (V.w67)
Click image for main Reference Section

Referees

William Lewis BVSc CertZooMed MRCVS (V.w129)

Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B46, B101, B208.16.w16c, B283

Hedgehogs:
B22.27.w3, B228.9.w9, B291.12.w12
J15.21.w1
D66

Bears:
B16
.9.w9

Lagomorphs:
B24, B208.16.w16c, B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2, B614.10.w10, P113.2005.w5, J31.19.w2

Ferrets:
B627.16.w16

Other References

Code and Title List

Hedgehogs:
J156
.12.w1, J157.88.w1, J166.91.w1, J162.28.w1, J166.100.w1, Th5

Bears:
J1
.35.w7, J31.17.w1, J345.3.w2
P85.1.w7, P77.1.w19

Lagomorphs:
D371
J1.10.w7, J1.11.w13, J1.16.w18, J1.16.w19, J1.19.w14, J1.22.w10, J1.27.12, J11.55.w2, J11.91.w1, J23.10.w4, J31.16.w1, J31.19.w1, J31.19.w2, J32.22.w1, J32.32.w1, J40.4.w2, J40.4.w3, J40.7.w1, J42.124.w2, J82.1.w1, J83.15.w2, J184.51.w1, J194.25.w2, J194.25.w4, J381.37.w1, J495.25.w4, J469.55.w1, J469.281.w1), J469.288.w1, J469.495.w1, J469.530.w1, J469.782.w1, J524.60.w1, J526.16.w1, J528.12.w1

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General 
  • Enteritis, seen as diarrhoea. (B46)
  • Intestinal infection with diarrhoea, anorexia, weight loss and fever. Sometimes fatal. (B101)

Clinical Characteristics

  • Diarrhoea, sometimes bloody, may occur and may be accompanied by tenesmus. (B46)
  • Usually an asymptomatic infection in free-living animals. (B208.16.w16c)
  • May cause mild to severe diarrhoea. (B208.16.w16c)
  • In overcrowded conditions or following massive experimental infection: fever, diarrhoea (may be bloody), loss of weight, abdominal tenderness and cramping, distress, dehydration, anorexia, emaciation, weakness. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Diarrhoea, fever, anorexia, weight loss and emaciation; sometimes fatal infection. (B283)
HEDGEHOGS
  • Usually subclinical. (B22.27.w3, J15.21.w1, B228.9.w9, B291.12.w12)
    • May have mild diarrhoea or a slightly reduced weight gain. (B291.12.w12)
  • Appetite may be reduced. (B337.3.w3)
  • May cause dysentry (bloody diarrhoea) occasionally. (B117.w7, B156.7.w7)
    • Bloody diarrhoea in heavy infections. (D66)
  • Bloody stools, bloody diarrhoea and weight loss. (B22.27.w3, J15.21.w1)
  • Massive infections may lead to haemorrhagic diarrhoea, reduced feed conversion, weight loss, dehydration (seen as reduced skin turgor) and lethargy. (B291.12.w12)
  • Poor appetite, emaciation, lethargy, haemorrhagic diarrhoea and death may occur occasionally. (B228.9.w9)
  • Haemorrhagic diarrhoea, weakness and inappetance. (B214.3.26.w11)
  • May show hyperactivity, digging in the corner of the nest box, pen or hutch. (B337.3.w3)
  • Faeces may be bottle-green and slimy and may be spotted with blood. (B337.3.w3)
LAGOMORPHS Intestinal coccidiosis is often asymptomatic. (B609.2.w2)
  • Subclinical infection can cause reduced feed conversion. (B600.10.w10)

When present, clinical signs include:

  • Watery to mucoid diarrhoea which is sometimes tinged with blood. (B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2, B614.10.w10)
    • The diarrhoea may be intermittent. (B609.2.w2, B614.10.w10)
  • Tenesmus (B609.2.w2)
  • Subclinical infection can cause reduced feed conversion. (B600.10.w10)
  • In heavy infections, especially in young rabbits, there may be:
    • Chronic diarrhoea (B600.10.w10)
    • Inappetance (B600.10.w10)
    • Intense thirst (B614.10.w10)
    • Lethargy (B609.2.w2)
    • Depression (B600.10.w10)
    • Weakness (B609.2.w2)
    • Dehydration (B609.2.w2)
    • Weight loss (B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2, B614.10.w10)
    • No weight gain in young animals. (B614.10.w10)
    • Intussusception (B609.2.w2, B614.10.w10)
      • This may be seen in chronic infections (B600.10.w10)
    • Death due to dehydration and secondary bacterial infection. (B609.2.w2, B614.10.w10)

Severity depends on Eimeria species involved and dose.

  • With Eimeria magna: mucoid diarrhoea and emaciation may occur. Can be fatal. (B24)
  • With Eimeria matsubayashii: diarrhoea with heavy infection. (B24)
  • Eimeria perforans is of low pathogenicity; it may cause mild to moderate diarrhoea in young rabbits. (B24)
FERRETS
  • Usually asymptomatic. (B627.16.w16)
  • In young ferrets, diarrhoea, tenesmus and weight loss may develop. (B627.16.w16)
  • In ferrets with coccidiosis plus Desulphovibio (Lawsonia intracellularis) infection:
    • Lethargy, anorexia, weight loss (to the point of emaciation), diarrhoea and dehydration. (B627.16.w16)

Incubation

  • Varies depending on factors such as the host species and the species of parasite. 
HEDGEHOGS --
LAGOMORPHS

Prepatent periods of intestinal Eimeria spp.

  • The developmental stages of the coccidia usually only occur in the ileum and jejunum but in heavy infestations they may also be found in the caecum. (B600.10.w10)
  • Two asexual stages occur and oocysts are shed into the faeces seven to eight days post-infection. (B600.10.w10)
  • Eimeria caecicola - 9 to 10 days (B614.10.w10); nine days. (B24)
  • Eimeria flavesceus - 9 days
  • Eimeria intestinalis - 10 days
  • Eimeria irresidua - 7 to 8 days (B614.10.w10); 9 -10 days (B24). 
  • Eimeria magna - 6 to 7 days (B614.10.w10); 7 - 8 days. (B24)
  • Eimeria matsubayashii - 7 days (B24)
  • Eimeria media - 6 to 7 days.
  • Eimeria neoleporis - 12 days. 
  • Eimeria perforans - 5 days (B614.10.w10); 5 - 6 days (B24)
  • Eimeria piriformis - 9 - 10 days. (B24)

(B24, B614.10.w10)

FERRETS
  • Oocysts are usually found in the faeces of 6-16-week-old ferrets. (B627.16.w16)

Mortality / Morbidity

  • Morbidity and mortality may be higher in some species than in other closely related species; e.g. among macropod marsupials, the Eastern grey kangaroo Macropus giganteus is recognised as being most at risk of developing coccidiosis, particularly in captivity. (Th3, B208.16.w16c)
HEDGEHOGS Morbidity: 
LAGOMORPHS
  • Variable, depending on the rabbit's age and immune status, the species of Eimeria and the number of oocysts ingested. (B600.10.w10, J29.5.w1)
  • Coccidia can cause moderate to severe clinical disease in young, recently weaned rabbits. (B609.2.w2)
    • "It is not always clear how important coccidiosis is during an outbreak of enteritis, although the introduction of a pathogenic species into a susceptible population can prove fatal, especially in young rabbits around the time of weaning". (B600.10.w10)
  • Coccidiosis is only seen occasionally in adult rabbits. (B609.2.w2)
  • Experimental infection with Eimeria intestinalis has sometimes been fatal. (B24)
  • Severe, fatal enteritis in young rabbits experimentally infected with 50,000 oocyts of Eimeria media. (B24)
  • Eimeria neoleporis fatal by ten days following infection of young domestic rabbits with 50,000 - 100,000 oocysts. (B24)
  • Eimeria perforans is of low pathogenicity; it may cause mild to moderate diarrhoea in young rabbits. (B24)
  • With Eimeria piriformis, 30,000 oocysts can be fatal in any age of rabbit. (B24)
FERRETS
  • Usually self-limiting. (B627.16.w16)
  • More severe signs seen in ferrets coinfected with Desulphovibio (Lawsonia intracellularis). (B627.16.w16)

Pathology

Gastrointestinal: Enteritis which may affect different areas of the intestine depending on the host species and coccidial species involved. (B46)
HEDGEHOGS Experimental infection with Isospora rastegaievae:
  • Intestine, anterior third, epithelial cells contained parasites, mainly binucleated merozoites, by six days post infection. (J157.88.w1)
  • Intestine, concentrated at 30-45cm distal to the stomach, mainly rounded gamonts within surface epithelial cells. (J157.88.w1)
LAGOMORPHS Depending on the causative agent, the lesions may be seen in the small and/or large intestine (B614.10.w10):
Gross pathology
  • Intestines: 
    • With Eimeria intestinalis, moderate to severe inflammation. (B24)
    • With Eimeria matsubayashii, diphtheritic enteritis. (B24)
    • With Eimeria media, enteritis with destruction of the epithelium of the small intestine and often also the large intestine; the wall of the caecum may be greyish-white and thickened (due to large numbers of coccidia in development). (B24)
    • With Eimeria neoleporis, main lesions around the ileocaecal valve and the vermiform appendix, with the  intestinal wall thickened and whitish-grey (due to large numbers of developing stages). With severe infections, superficial mucosal necrosis. (B24)
    • With Eimeria perforans, anterior small intestinal wall thickened and whitish (due to large numbers of developing stages). (B24, J495.25.w4)
    • With Eimeria piriformis, small intestinal catarrhal inflammation. (B24)
    • In Sylvilagus floridanus - Eastern cottontail in Virginia, USA, affected areas of small intestine were described as denuded areas, 1-2 cm diameter, with "hundreds of raised nodular protrusions of the mucosal surface.". (J524.60.w1)
  • Multiple white areas may be seen in the intestinal wall. These areas correspond to the ulcerative lesions seen on histopathology. (B614.10.w10)
  • Ileum and jejunum: 
    • This is where lesions are most likely to be found. (B600.10.w10)
      • Swelling (J1.11.w13); oedema and inflammation. (B600.10.w10)
      • Mucosal ulcerations and haemorrhages. (B600.10.w10)
    • Note: Coccidia can be detected on intestinal mucosal scrapings (B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2)
    • Fatal intussusception associated with heavy coccidial infection has been described in domestic rabbits and in a wild Lepus europaeus - Brown hare. (J83.15.w2, J184.51.w1, J495.25.w4) See: Intussusception in Lagomorphs 
Histopathology
FERRETS Histopathology
  • Eimeria furonis can be found throughout the intestines. (B627.16.w16)
  • Eimeria ictidae is found only in the small intestine, in the tips of the villi. (B627.16.w16)
  • Intestinal villi thickened due to inflammation, with oocytes and macrogranules in the epithelia. (B627.16.w16)

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Human Health Considerations

There is no evidence to suggest that Eimeria spp. or Isospora spp. of wild mammals may infect humans, although it is possible that Cyclospora spp. from the higher primates may do so. (B208.16.w16c)

Lagomorph coccidiosis infection:

  • Eimeria spp. of rabbits are not infectious to humans. (B609.2.w, B614.10.w10)

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

Susceptibility
  • The development of infection and disease is affected by the age, sex, species and breed/strain of the host, as well as its nutritional and immunological status and feeding habits. (B208.16.w16c)
  • The number of infective (sporulated) oocysts in the initial dose affects the number of oocysts shed by the host and the length of time for which they are shed. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Susceptibility of a host to infection with a given coccidial species decreases following the development of specific immunity against that species. (B208.16.w16c)
Transmission
  • Direct lifecycle; transmission is by ingestion of sporulated oocysts following faecal excretion of oocysts. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Transmission is increased under conditions of overcrowding which may occur in the wild due to e.g. temporary or permanent habitat loss, and in captivity. (B208.16.w16c)
HEDGEHOGS
Susceptibility
  • Hand-reared hoglets are at greater risk of developing clinical disease, particularly if hygiene is poor. (J15.21.w1)
  • Coccidial oocysts (mainly Isospora erinacei and Eimeria rastegaiv, but also other Eimeria spp.) may be found in 10% of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus - West European Hedgehog). (B22.27.w3)
Transmission
  • Ingestion of sporulated oocysts. (B291.12.w12)
    • Oocysts are shed in the faeces (prepatent period 6-10 days, oocysts shed for about 6-7 days) and sporulate within 24-48 hours. (B291.12.w12)
    • Sporulated oocysts can be spread around the environment, therefore transmission may occur without direct contact between hedgehogs. (B291.12.w12)
BEARS
  • Coccidia are unlikely to cause clinical disease in adult bears, but might be more of a problem in juveniles. (B407.w18)
LAGOMORPHS
Susceptibility
  • In general, each genus of lagomorphs has its own species of intestinal coccidia. Some coccidia can be transmitted between genera. (J31.19.w2)
  • Young and recently weaned rabbits
    • "Coccidiosis is essentially a disease of the young rabbit." (B24)
    • Coccidiosis is common in recently-weaned rabbit kits. (P113.2005.w5)
    • Rabbits of four to sixteen weeks of age are most commonly affected by coccidiosis. (B609.2.w2)
  • Adult rabbits
    • Adults are occasionally affected by coccidiosis especially if they are debilitated or if they are exposed to large numbers of oocysts of a species of Eimeria to which they have no immunity. (B609.2.w2)
    • Debility, stress and concurrent disease prediposes older rabbits to infection. (B609.2.w2)
  • Immunity
    • Natural lifelong immunity develops in the rabbit against each Eimeria species following exposure. The immunity is specific against a particular species of Eimeria so there is no cross protection against another Eimeria species that the rabbit may subsequently be exposed to. (B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2)
    • Immunity resulting from mild Eimeria infections are thought to be practically lifelong in rabbits. (B614.10.w10)
  • Predisposing factors:
    • Intensive, damp, dirty conditions. (B600.10.w10)
Transmission
  • Rabbits are infected by ingesting sporulated oocysts in food that has become contaminated by faeces. (B600.10.w10, B614.10.w10)
  • Infected rabbits contaminate the environment with oocysts of Eimeria spp. (B609.2.w2)
  • Transmission is increased by poor sanitation. (B24)
  • The environment can become heavily contaminated in intensive conditions. (B600.10.w10)
  • Wild rabbits can be a potential source of infection to domestic rabbits that are allowed access to grass. Long grass that is hand picked is less likely to be contaminated with oocysts then short grass that is grazed by numerous wild rabbits. (B600.10.w10)
  • Note: Although rabbits are coprophagic, the soft faeces (caecotrophs) that they eat directly from the anus are not thought to contain infectious oocysts. (B614.10.w10)
  • Cross transmission of Eimeria amongst the Oryctolagus, Sylvilagus, and Lepus genera:
    • Apart from Eimeria stiedae and possibly Eimeria neoleporis, cross-transmission of Eimeria species is not thought to occur between these genera. In one study, transmission of intestinal coccidia of hares to domestic rabbits and vice versa was not possible. (B614.10.w10)
FERRETS
Transmission
  • Oocysts are infectious 1-2 days after shedding. (B627.16.w16)
Susceptibility
  • Clinical disease is most likely to be seen in juveniles. (B627.16.w16)

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

In Hedgehogs:
  • Coccidial oocysts (mainly Isospora erinacei and Eimeria rastegaiv, but also other Eimeria spp.) may be found in 10% of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus - West European Hedgehog). (B22.27.w3)
  • Eimeria perardi in Erinaceus europaeus - West European Hedgehog in Bulgaria. (J156.12.w1)
  • Isospora rastegaievae in the Eurasian hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus L. ; experimental infection. (J157.88.w1)
  • Isospora rastegaivae, Isospora erinacei, Isospora schmaltzi, Eimeria perardi, Eimeria ostertagia, Yakimovella erinacei in European hedgehogs (B228.9.w9)
  • Isospora spp. oocysts were found in 13% of faecal samples from 1849 hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus in Germany, 1974-1983 (J166.91.w1)
  • Isospora spp. oocysts were found in 17.9% of faecal samples from 1175 hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus in Germany, 1984-1991. (J166.100.w1)
  • Capillaria spp, Brachylaemus erinacei and coccidia were found in 93% of 232 gastrointestinal tracts of hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus from Germany, winter 1980-81. (J162.28.w1)
  • Isospora rastegaiev in 12.9% of hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus at Pfaffenhofen and in one individual at Glonn (both Upper Bavaria), Germany. (Th5)

In Bears:

In Lagomorphs

In Ferrets:

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Host species with further information available are listed below:

Host Species List

Hedgehogs

Bears

Lagomorphs

Mustelids

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this disease)

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Disease has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

In Hedgehogs:
  • Coccidial oocysts (mainly Isospora erinacei and Eimeria rastegaiv, but also other Eimeria spp.) may be found in 10% of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus - West European Hedgehog). (B22.27.w3)
  • Eimeria perardi in Erinaceus europaeus - West European Hedgehog in Bulgaria. (J156.12.w1)
  • Isospora spp. oocysts were found in 13% of faecal samples from 1849 hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus in Germany, 1974-1983 (J166.91.w1)
  • Isospora spp. oocysts were found in 17.9% of faecal samples from 1175 hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus in Germany, 1984-1991. (J166.100.w1)
  • Faecal samples (643) from hedgehogs collected in three successive winters revealed parasitism in 55-79%, mainly Capillaria sp., Crenosoma striatum and Isospora rastegaivae); most heavily infected individuals were considered to be underweight. (J77.97.w1)

In Bears:

In Lagomorphs:

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Host species with further information available are listed below:

Host Species List

Hedgehogs

Bears

Lagomorphs

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this disease)

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

  • Infection may be increased by overcrowding; this may occur in the wild following habitat loss including temporary habitat loss due to flooding or drought. (B208.16.w16c)
  • In a study of Lepus americanus - Snowshoe hare at Rochester, Alberta, Canada December 1981 to April 1982, while the population was declining, intensity of Eimeria infection declined over winter (December to April). (J1.22.w10)
  • In a study at various sites in Australia, generally reduced infection (measured by oocysts in the faeces) occurred in spring and summer in subalpine and mediterranean sites, although some coccidial species were more affected by climate than were others. Additionally, coccidial infections were infrequent in hot, dry areas and most frequent in areas without any period of extended high temperatures. (J526.16.w1)

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

  • Faecal examination: for the presence of oocysts. Faeces must be stored prior to examination for sufficient time and at appropriate temperatures to allow sporulation to take place if a specific identification is to be made. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Faeces may be stored/transported in 2.0 - 2.5% (w/v) aqueous potassium dichromate solution (K2Cr2O7), in a 1:5 faeces: solution ratio. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Faecal examination: direct smear examined for the presence of coccidial oocysts. (J15.21.w1)
  • Maintenance for 7 - 10 days at 20 - 23C will allow sporulation of oocysts. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Oocysts may be separated from the solution (concentrated) by suspending an aliquot of faeces/aqueous potassium dichromate solution in a modified Sheathers sugar solution (500 g sucrose in 350 mL tap water plus 5 mL phenol) followed by centrifugation at 1,500 rmp for five minutes. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Microscopic examination of faeces. (D66)
  • Flotation examination of faeces. Oocysts are about 20 m diameter. (B291.12.w12)
  • Note: oocysts may not be shed at the onset of clinical signs, and it may be necessary to examine several faecal samples before oocysts are found. Oocysts must then be confirmed as pathogenic for that host species. (B101)
HEDGEHOGS
  • Direct faecal smears: Presence of oocysts. (J15.21.w1)
BEARS
  • Detection of oocysts in faecal samples. (B338.23.w23, J31.17.w1, J345.3.w2)
LAGOMORPHS
CBC, BIOCHEMISTRY AND URINALYSIS
FAECAL CYTOLOGY
  • Examination of faeces. (B614.10.w10)
  • Examination for oocysts (15 - 40 m) on faecal wet mount or faecal flotation. (B609.2.w2)
  • Finding of very large numbers of oocysts. Note that rabbits often carry coccidia and may be excreting large numbers of occysts without clinical signs. (B24)
  • Clinical Pathology of Lagomorphs - Faecal Analysis
IMAGING
  • Often unremarkable. (B609.2.w2)
NECROPSY
  • Necropsy findings. (B24)
  • Identify organisms during the post mortem examination from:
    • Intestinal mucosal scrapings (B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2)
    • Histological examination of intestine (B600.10.w10, B609.2.w2, B614.10.w10)
    • Intestinal contents. (J83.15.w2)
FERRETS
  • Diagnosis is based on the finding of coccidial oocyts by faecal flotation. (B627.16.w16, B631.20.w20)
    • Oocysts of Eimeria furonis have been described as 12.8 x 12.0 m. (B627.16.w16)
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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

Other diseases causing diarrhoea.
HEDGEHOGS
  • Other diseases causing similar signs include other parasitic infections of the gastro-intestinal tract. (B337.3.w3)
LAGOMORPHS
Other causes of diarrhoea
  • Systemic or metabolic diseases need to be considered as well as specific intestinal disorders. (B609.2.w2)
Blood and mucous in faeces:
Mucous-covered, blood-tinged, or fluid-filled diarrhoea:
  • Young rabbits: usually due to coccidia or bacterial enteritis. (B609.2.w2)
  • Older rabbits: less likely to be due to coccidia. More likely to be associated with bacterial enteritis after antibiotic use, intestinal obstruction or intussusception, or systemic illness. (B609.2.w2)
FERRETS Other causes of diarrhoea. (B627.16.w16)

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

  • Oral sulphonamides. (B101)
  • Treatment with coccidiostats such as ionophores (e.g. monensin, lasalocid, salinomycin), sulphonamides, amprolium, clopidol, robenine, guanidine or decoquinate. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Treatment with sulphadimidine, sulphamethazine or amprolium is suggested. (B46)
  • Treatment with sulphamethazine or amprolium. (B283)
HEDGEHOGS
  • Sulphadimidine (100-200 mg/kg bodyweight, subcutaneous, once daily for three days), potentiated sulphonamides or amprolium have been suggested (B156.7.w7, J15.21.w1, D66).
  • Sulphonamides, orally 100 mg/kg daily for five days. (B214.3.26.w11, B228.9.w9)
  • Oral sulphonamides, with a short course (five days) followed by 3-5 days of administration of supplementary vitamins, then another five days of sulphonamides. (B291.12.w12)
  • Sulfadimethoxine has been suggested. (B16.13.w13); treat for five days then repeat after an interval of five days. (D66)
  • Tetracycline (60 mg/kg bodyweight for three days) to control secondary bacterial infection has been suggested (B228.9.w9)
BEARS
  • Sulphonamides (Sulphonamides), 50 mg/kg orally may be given. (B407.w18)
  • Sulfadimethoxine (Sulphonamides) oral suspension (Albon, 50 mg/ml, Roche), orally once at 50 mg/kg then at 25 mg/kg once daily for 7-10 days. (B338.23.w23)
LAGOMORPHS Note: treatment of established disease in rabbit colonies using medication in the feed can be difficult because rabbits that are inappetant will not receive treatment. (B600.10.w10)
  • Sulphadimidene (Sulphonamides)
    • 100 - 233 mg/l via the drinking water for the treatment of rabbit colonies.. (B600.10.w10)
  • Sulfadimethoxine (Sulphonamides)
    • 50 mg/kg by oral administration for the first dose and then 25 mg/kg every 24 hours for ten to twenty days. (B609.2.w2)
  • Sulfaquinoxaline (Sulphonamides) treatment. (B614.10.w10)
  • Toltrazuril
    • 25 ppm in the drinking water for the treatment of rabbit colonies. (B600.10.w10, J32.22.w1)
    • This medication is highly effective in reducing the oocyst output of hepatic and intestinal Eimeria species. Two days of treatment repeated after five days is an effective regimen for reducing clinical signs and output of oocysts while allowing the development of immunity. (B600.10.w10, J32.22.w1)
    • 25 ppm in drinking water is equivalent to 2.5 mg/kg (assuming a water intake of 100 mL/kg/day); given orally by syringe as a single dose of 2.5 mg/kg it is effective in significantly reducing faecal oocyst counts. (P602.2009.w1)
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Sulphonamides)
    • 30 mg/kg orally every twelve hours for ten days. (B609.2.w2)
    • 40 mg/kg orally every twelve hours for seven days. 
      • "Co-trimoxazole" human formulation is available as a paediatric syrup. (B600.10.w10)
  • Note: Coccidiostats will only slow multiplication of organisms until the host immunity develops. Adult rabbits that have subclinical infections should develop natural immunity and therefore may not need medication. (B609.2.w2)
ANTIBIOTICS
  • If there is a secondary gastrointestinal bacterial infection then antibiotics may be indicated. Use only broad spectrum antibiotics:
  • For Clostridium spp. (also see: Clostridial Enteritis in Rabbits)
    • Metronidazole
      • 20 mg/kg orally or by intravenous injection every twelve hours for up to three weeks. (B609.2.w2)
  • CONTRAINDICATIONS:
    • Oral antibiotics that act primarily against Gram positive bacteria are contraindicated in rabbits due to their suppression of the growth of commensal flora which then allows an overgrowth of enteric pathogens and frequently a fatal enterotoxaemia:
      • lincomycin
      • clindamycin
      • erythromycin 
      • amoxicillin
      • ampicillin
      • penicillins
      • cephalosporins

      (B609.2.w2)

ALTERNATIVE DRUGS AGAINST COCCIDIA
  • Amprolium 9.6% in drinking water (0.5 ml per 500 ml). This product is not consistently effective because the water consumption of the rabbits is variable. (B609.2.w2)
FERRETS
  • Sulphonamides - oral sulphamethazine or sulphadimethoxine (25-30 mg/kg daily). Sulfadiazine-trimethoprim can be given at 30-60 mg/kg orally in divided doses for 1-3 weeks(B627.16.w16)
  • Amprolium19 mg/kg orally (can be mixed into moist food). (B627.16.w16)
  • Decoquinate 0.05 mg/kg (in moist food). (B627.16.w16)
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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

--
HEDGEHOGS --
LAGOMORPHS
FLUID THERAPY 

Fluid therapy and correction of any electrolyte imbalances are an important part of treatment in most cases. (B609.2.w2)

  • Crystalloid fluid therapy:
    • Subcutaneously, orally or intravenously as required. (B609.2.w2)
    • The aim is to return the patient to a proper hydration status over twelve to twenty four hours and then replace any ongoing losses. (B609.2.w2)
    • Aggressive shock fluid therapy is necessary if severe volume depletion has occurred with acute diarrhoea. (B609.2.w2)
    • Fluid choice should take into account the electrolyte and hydration status. (B609.2.w2)
    • See: Treatment and Care - Fluid Therapy
DIET
  • It is vital that the rabbit continues to eat during and after the treatment period because otherwise continued anorexia will lead to an exacerbation of gastrointestinal motility disorders leading to further derangement of microflora and overgrowth of the intestinal bacterial pathogens. 
  • Offer the rabbit good quality grass hay and a decent selection of fresh greens. Note: in some rabbits, the addition of leafy greens can result in an exacerbation of the diarrhoea so for these animals only good quality hay should be offered. (B609.2.w2) See: 
  • To encourage oral fluid intake, offer fresh water, wet leafy vegetables or flavour the water with vegetable juice.
  • Syringe feeding is necessary if the rabbit is refusing to eat. 
  • Nasogastric intubation is indicated if the rabbit refuses sufficient volumes of food. 
  • Contraindications:
    • Avoid high carbohydrate or high fat nutritional supplements. (B609.2.w2)
    • Do not force feed if there is a suspicion of acute small intestinal obstruction or if the rabbit is in shock. (B609.2.w2)
  • Long term permanent dietary modification:
    • The bulk of the diet should be made up of high quality fresh hay (timothy or grass preferred; the commercially available hay cubes are often not sufficient) plus a selection of washed, fresh leafy greens. Pellets should be limited to one quarter of a cup per 5 lb. body weight if at all. Foods that are high in simple carbohydrates should be strictly cut out of the diet or limited to the occasional treat. (B609.2.w2)

(B609.2.w2)

FERRETS --
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination --
HEDGEHOGS --
LAGOMORPHS --
FERRETS --
Prophylactic Treatment

--

HEDGEHOGS --
LAGOMORPHS
  • Rabbit colonies may be fed on commercial pellets that contain a coccidiostat. This prevents clinical disease whilst allowing an immunological response to confer immunity. (B600.10.w10)
  • Toltrazuril at 10 - 15 ppm in drinking water was shown to be highly effective at preventing clinical signs and pathological lesions, and reducing output of oocysts. (J32.22.w1)
  • Diclazuril at 1 ppm in feed effectively reduced oocyst output, prevented diarrhoea, and allowed maintenance of normal weight gain and food efficiency. (J32.32.w1)
FERRETS --
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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection
  • General good sanitation to limit exposure to coccidial oocysts. (B101)
  • Keep animal hoses/enclosures clean and dry; ensure feed and water troughs are kept clean and free from faecal contamination. (B283)
  • Regularly movement of feed and water troughs to avoid any area becoming heavily contaminated. (B46)

HEDGEHOGS

  • Ensure good hygiene with routine disposal of faeces to break the cycle of infection. (B291.12.w12)
  • Note: Re-infection can occur within 24-48 unless scrupulous hygiene is maintained to ensure that oocysts do not remain in the hedgehog's environment for long enough to sporulate. (B337.3.w3)
LAGOMORPHS
  • Sanitation is critical for the control of coccidiosis, especially within multirabbit homes or rabbit colonies.
  • Hutches, cages or pens should be cleaned out regularly, preferably daily. (B24)
  • Cages, food bowls and water bottles need to be routinely disinfected.
  • Food should not be given on the floor. Food and water bowls/troughs should be in positions where they are unlikely to become contaminated by droppings. (B24)

(B24, B609.2.w2, B614.10.w10)

FERRETS
  • Cages and equipment can be sterilised using heat. (B627.16.w16)
Population Control Measures
  • Avoid overcrowding. (B208.16.w16c)
  • Minimise stressors such as sudden changes in feed, transportation etc. (B283)
    • Minimise stress in young animals. (B101)
  • Isolate clinically affected individuals to reduce transfer of infection to other animals. (B283)
HEDGEHOGS --
LAGOMORPHS
  • Removal of infected animals may be necessary to eliminate the infection in a breeding colony. (B614.10.w10)
FERRETS --
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening
  • Isolate affected individuals. (B101)
  • Quarantine new animals arriving in a collection/hospital and monitor for the presence of oocysts in the faeces; avoid introducing to conspecifics or congenerics until the faeces are free of coccidial oocysts. (B208.16.w16c)
HEDGEHOGS --
LAGOMORPHS
  • Rabbits should be screened for the shedding of oocysts; those that are shedding should be separated from young rabbits. (B609.2.w2)
FERRETS --
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