Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Dr. G.F. Kennedy 
     Coccidiosis continues to be a frustrating disease of sheep and goats. There are tools and remedies but none ever seem to give complete protection. The drugs used early in my career were sulfas which were effective against clinical coccidiosis. The problem was that they couldn't be effective if the initial infection was overwhelming. Then along came Corid. It was effective earlier in the cycle, I never have found a place for this product. Rumensin was really the first break through preventative product. It is not approved for use in sheep but can be used for control in goats. It has been used  in the past and still sees limited use in the sheep industry. It is particularly effective against toxoplasmosis abortion and limits coccidiosis exposure when fed to ewes prior to lambing. Deccox is the latest preventative product and is less toxic than Rumensin. It can be mixed with salt and can be fed at increased levels in creep feed to establish control.
     Rumensin has to be fed continuously to work but is very effective. Deccox needs to be fed continuously as well but has a larger window of action and is basically nontoxic. Sulfas have the advantage over amproliums  in treatment because sulfas are effective during clinical stage amproliums are effective for about four days early in the cycle. SQX was a popular sulfa do to price and effectiveness. It did not have systemic effect on secondary infections. Sulfamethazine and sulfadimethoxine are the currently used products and they have systematic effect as well. Injectable antibiotic therapy to control secondary infection is always indicated in severe cases.
     It is important to remember two things when attempting to control coccidiosis. First it takes very little volume of infective material to create disease. Second it is a self-limiting disease, animals develop immunity when exposed. Ideally light exposure and immunity without clinical symptoms. Attaining  proper consumption of coccidiostats is both difficult and essential.

About Us
Sheepletter is published ten times yearly.
Phone                              507-825-4211
Fax                                    507-825-3140
ORDERS ONLY             800-658-2523

Editor: Shannon Bouman   Regular Contributors: GF Kennedy, DVM,
J.D. Bobb, DVM, J.L. Goelz, DVM
Research Editor: J.D. Bobb, DVM  Online Editor: Shannon Bouman 
Veterinary services, procedures, biologicals, and drugs mentioned in this publication represent the personal opinions and clinical observations of the contributing author. They are in no way intended to be interpreted as recommendations without the consent of the producer's own practicing veterinarian. We strongly urge that producers establish a patient-client-veterinarian relationship that allows extra-label use when there are no drugs approved for treatment or if approved drugs are not effective. This procedure allows veterinarians to go beyond label directions when "prudent use" is necessary. The limited availability of drugs and biologics in this country is a major factor in restricting the growth of the sheep industry and allowing producers to compete in the world market place.


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