Coccidiosis Disease Management in Pig/Swine: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention  

Coccidiosis is one of the most common parasitic diseases in pigs. Coccidia is a microscopic, single-celled organism that causes it. Symptoms of the disease include a lack of appetite and weight loss. In the swine business, coccidiosis can cause major financial losses due to reduced development, decreased feed efficiency, and increased mortality.

Coccidiosis Disease Management in Pig/Swine

Young pigs, especially those in unclean or congested conditions, are particularly prone to this disease. Sanitation, cleanliness, vaccination, and anticoccidial drugs are all proven effective in preventing and treating coccidioidomycosis. The adverse impacts of coccidiosis on pig health and the result can be reduced through early detection and prompt treatment.

Coccidiosis Disease Management in Pig/Swine

Causes of Coccidiosis Disease in Pig/Swine

Small parasites called coccidia that live and reproduce inside the host cells of the intestinal tract cause coccidiosis in pigs. Pig feces is a source of infection, and OO-CIDE (Antec) is effective in disinfecting. The single-celled parasites Eimeria and Isospora that increase within the pig’s intestinal lining are responsible for the disease known as coccidiosis. These parasites are widespread, especially in wet climates and places with poor hygiene. Young pigs’ immune systems have not fully developed, making them especially prone to disease.

Disease Cycle of Coccidiosis Disease

Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease in pigs that involves a complex life cycle completed within a single host. The merozoites can go through one or more cycles of meront production before progressing to the sexual stage of gametogony. Infection occurs through ingestion of sporulated oocysts in feces, and the pathogenicity of coccidial species varies, causing severe clinical signs such as diarrhea, anemia, and weakness. Coccidial infections can also be immunosuppressive, making pigs more susceptible to other diseases. Immunity after Eimeria exposure is lifelong, while Isospora infections prevent further infection.

What are the Symptoms of Coccidiosis Disease?

  • Diarrhea in piglets
  • Damage to the pig’s small intestine walls.
  • Dehydration
  • Varying fecal consistency and color (yellow to grey-green or bloody)
  • Secondary bacterial infections
  • High mortality due to secondary infections
  • Occasionally affects young boars and gilts in permanently populated pens and floor feeding.

Diagnosis for Coccidiosis Disease in Pig

  • Diagnosing coccidiosis in pigs can be challenging, as identifying oocysts in the feces of infected pigs can be difficult. 
  • However, coccidiosis should be suspected if there is a diarrhea problem in sucking pigs from 7-21 days of age that does not respond well to antibiotics. 
  • Clear signs of coccidiosis may be evident during post-mortem examinations. 
  • Fecal samples should be taken from semi-recovered pigs rather than pigs with scour. The most effective diagnosis is by submitting a live pig for histological examination of the intestinal wall. 
  • Isospora suis is the most pathogenic type of coccidia. The oocysts do not appear in feces until approximately 3-4 days after diarrhea, which may delay diagnosis.

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