Diarrhea, weight loss and arrested growth in kids ages 3 weeks and older may be the first signs of coccidiosis. Testing a stool sample may reveal coccidiosis to be the cause but remember, something as simple as a change of diet, indigestion, or too much milk or solid food at feeding can also result in diarrhea. More serious causes for such symptoms may be a worm overload, E. coli, or even enterotoxemia. It's vital to know what you're dealing with before you start treating so you don't give inappropriate medications. Coccidia, the protozoal parasite that causes coccidiosis, is breed-specific. Of the numerous coccidia protozoa specific to goats, only 4 types cause goats to get really sick. The good news is that a mild (subclinical) case of coccidiosis will give protective immunity. A full blown (clinical) infection attacks the intestinal lining causing inflammation and much discomfort. If profuse bleeding ensues, death can occur from blood loss. Other causes of death from coccidiosis are dehydration, electrolytic imbalance and acidosis. Sadly, serious clinical infections can leave intestinal scarring and stunted growth due to poor digestion and nutritional mal-absorption. Now that you've got a grasp on the problem, lets take a look at some solutions. As always, prevention is the best "medicine," so let's consider preventive measures: Coccidiosis is a kind of man-made problem since it is most prevalent under conditions of over-crowding and lack of good hygiene. Under such conditions, the coccidia oocyst is actually ingested and coccidiosis occurs. This becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Following a well planned prevention program with the kids is important. Starting at 3 weeks of age (timing is critical), we mix 1/2 cc of Di-Methox 40% in their milk ration twice a day for one week. This particular from of Di-Methox is a concentrated IV medication but given in very small dosage orally seems to really ward off any problems. After the initial week's regimen, we continue to give them a 1/2 cc dose once a week till they are weaned. The addition of a coccidiostat such as decoquinate (Deccox), when mixed in the food ration or loose minerals, has proven to be an effective preventative. Control and treatment for coccidiosis involve the following: Areas where infected animals have been confined must be thoroughly cleaned before the oocysts can multiply. Coccidia are tough organisms that can survive most disinfectants and hard cold weather conditions. Given the right environment (warmth and moisture), a full blown outbreak can occur in as short a time as 3 days. Keep food off the ground. Feeders should be at a height where goats cannot defecate or urinate in them. Treatment includes oral dosages of anti-diarrhea medicine as frequently as needed to avoid dehydration. Give Nutri_Drench, a concentrated vitamin/mineral supplement to restore nutrition losses. A 10-cc SubQ injection of Goat Serum Concentrate two days in a row will boost the compromised immune system. Sulfadimethoxine (Di-Methox, 12.5%) can also be given orally by mixing 1-1/2 tablespoons of Di-Methox with 1-1/2 tablespoons of water and administer directly into mouth with a Drench Syringe. This should be done once a day for 5 consecutive days. Amprolium (Co-Rid) is not readily available at this time. We never had much success using Co-Rid. The huge doses necessary for treating goats (10 times the cattle dose) created a vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency that resulted in the goat getting polio. In other words, "the cure was worse than the disease." Coccidiosis can be life-threatening so prevention is the first line of defense, then quick, aggressive treatment when necessary. Most medicine is not approved for goats so consult your veterinarian for the program that is best for your goats.