Atlas of livestock parasites
digitized collection of microscopical preparations

Atlas of Parasites Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Isospora spp. (dog, cat)



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Protozoan Parasite (coccidia)     

Several host-specifc species are found in the: dog (I. canis, I. ohioensis, I. neorivolta, I. burrowsi) and cat (I. felis, I. rivolta)                 

Distribution: Worldwide.      

Host: Small intestine, cecum, and colon.

Life Cycle: Cats and dogs are infected by ingestion of sporulated oocysts or transport hosts (often rodents, but also including rabbits, ruminants, birds, and other prey animals). Following development in the fnal host, oocysts are passed in feces and undergo sporulation in the environment. 

Diagnosis: Oocysts are detected by centrifugal or simple fecal fotation examination.  Oocysts have smooth, clear cyst walls, are elliptical in shape, and contain a single, round cell (sporoblast) when freshly passed.  

38–51 × 27–39µm   I. canis, I. felis        

17–27 × 15–24µm   Isospora spp.        

Clinical features: These are the organisms typically referred to as “coccidia” of dogs and cats although other parasites also fall into this taxonomic group. Oocysts can be found in the feces of many clinically normal young dogs and cats.

Clinical coccidiosis: isosporosis most often occurs in puppies andkittens, often in association with weaning, change of owner, or other stress factors. Signs includediarrhea, abdominal pain, anorexia, and weight loss.

In severe cases, bloody diarrhea and anemia     may occur. Respiratory and neurologic signs have also been reported in some animals. 


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