Coccidia - also known as coccidiosis or cocci for short is an internal parasite that plagues many goat farms.
I personally went years with out a case of cocci in my herd before purchasing a kid with it and now I have to fight the bugs each year.
Coccida is worse when the climate is wet and warm. Cold weather seems to kill coccida or cause it to lay dormant. I guess thats the only real good thing about winter ;)
The signs of coccidia in a kid and adult are different so I have separated them for clarity.
Sign of coccidia in a kid: Sluggish, diarrhea (some say of a specific color but I have not found this to be true, it can be any color and still be coccidia related), fowl smelling diarrhea, loss of weight or lack of growth. If a kid is 2 weeks or older especially 2-8 weeks of age and they show any of these signs my mind goes straight to coccidia being the cause.
Signs of coccidia in an adult: Adults too can get cocci but many people dont realize cocci is the problem because the adult didnt show the "normal" signs of coccidia overload as described in books and by goat owners. Why is this? well its because 95% of adults will NOT get the runs which is so typical of a kid with cocci. You will see your doe or buck start to loose condition - they will loose muscle mass and become scrawny looking in a matter of weeks. Their poo will look totally normal so you will just up their feed and give supplements not realizing an internal parasite is causing all sorts of damage to their intestinal tract.
In all cases if you see these signs I highly recommend you have a fecal float done. Take a stool sample to your vet and and have them check for worms and coccidia. Any vet can do this or send it out to be done at a lab. So dont allow that dog/cat vet tell you they cant because its a goat! The lab doesnt know the difference.
Treatment So you received back a positive result for cocci. Its not a death sentence BUT it can be if you dont treat. Knowing how to treat is most important so here are some of my methods that I have found to work.
First you need to find one of the following coccidia medications: (click each name for treatment directions) Sulmet Albon DiMethox (generic of Albon) Baycox - one day treatment Corid
Treatment is for 5 days typically and I dont follow the bottles instructions for putting it in the water. I find this to be ineffective in knowing if the goat actually ingested enough of the medicine per day.