Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- Eimeria vermiformis
- Eimeria ahsata
Eimeria typically have a single host life cycle, and in dogs autochonous infections are common, particularly in densely housed kennels.
Infective sporozoites within oocysts are ingested by dogs and develop within the epithelium of the small intestine, undergoing schizogony to form schizonts. These schizonts can be found within enterocytes, biliary epithelium associated with hepatitis and even the uterine epithelium.
Although normally nonpathogenic in dogs, Eimeria should be considered in any dog which present with diarrhea, where this parasite appears more prevalent. Infections appear to predominate in densely-housed kennels and pet shops, where infections with this parasite and Giardia spp can become endemic.
Diagnosis is based on coprological identification of sporozoites. Isolation is maximized using 33% zinc sulfate.
Treatment is usually effective with metronidazole or sulfaquinoxaline.
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