Coccidiosis is a condition caused by a parasite called coccidia. Animals infected with this parasite can die if proper control measures are not taken. Agricultural lime does not kill coccidia but it can kill some types of bacteria. Hydrated lime is an irritant and should not be used around animals. There are, however, several ways to control coccidiosis in your animals.
Coccidia is an intestinal parasite that causes serious symptoms. Initially, animals infected with the parasite have watery diarrhea. As the infection progresses diarrhea persists and may become bloody and full of mucous. Dehydration and loss of appetite are also common. According to Kansas State University, coccidiosis can present symptoms of the nervous system as well, including tremors and convulsions.
Spores of the coccidia parasite are hardy and can survive in a number of locations. Normally they are passed from one animal to another by ingestion of infected fecal matter. They can also be transmitted via food, water and soil. Animals grazing in moist, shady areas are likely to pick the parasite up from the soil. Likewise, dirty water and moist feed are ideal breeding grounds for coccidia.
Veterinarians have several medications available to them for curing an animal infected with coccidiosis. These medications can be applied to a single animal or to a large group of infected animals. In addition to medication, infected animals should be treated for dehydration and should be encouraged to eat. Reduce stress as much as possible since stressed animals are less likely to recover.
Sanitation is the key to preventing an outbreak of coccidiosis. Keep pens, feed containers and water bowls clean. A solution of one part bleach to 30 parts water can kill coccidia in these areas. Avoid feeding animals directly on the ground. Instead, use feeding troughs. Don't let animals graze in moist, shaded areas. Agricultural lime can be used in poultry coops to absorb odors and kill bacteria. Medications can also be added to feed as a preventive measure.