Don’t Treat Coccidiosis This Winter; Prevent It

CORID® (amprolium) offers solutions for all coccidiosis cases

DULUTH, GA — Dec. 15, 2008 — Coccidia are so common in the United States that they can be found in beef and dairy calves from operations of all sizes and in all seasons, including cold winter weather.1 This means almost all calves are vulnerable to the damaging effects of coccidiosis, especially when the stress of changing weather creates a higher risk for disease.

“It’s a costly disease,” says Dr. Joe Dedrickson, associate director, Merial Veterinary Services. “Across the beef and dairy industries, coccidiosis causes more than $100 million in losses every year.2 This is why producers need to have a prevention program in place for winter — to help stop the loss before it starts.”

Dr. Dedrickson recommends producers use the leading coccidiostat for a prevention regimen — CORID® (amprolium).3 He adds that it is important for producers to understand the following 10 concepts to better combat this difficult disease:

Key Concepts to Battling Coccidiosis This Winter

Calves from all environments and operations are at risk of developing coccidiosis.1,2

The prevalence of coccidiosis infection is usually high, with reports of 100 percent in calves.4

Coccidiosis is a stress-induced disease. Stressors included weaning, shipping, putting animals into large groups, changing rations and — the most common — changing weather.1

In addition to causing stress, cold weather causes animals to group together, multiplying the risk of infection.1

Diagnosis of coccidiosis is difficult, and visible signs don’t occur until three to eight weeks after the initial infection. By then, much of the economic damage is already done.5

Diagnosis by fecal exam may not always be effective because the passage of oocysts, the infective form of coccidia, lags even behind the onset of clinical signs.5

Prevention must be twofold:

Use good animal husbandry measures to prevent ingestion of oocysts by cattle.2

Use a coccidiostat with a prevention and treatment label, like CORID, to combat the disease before it starts.

Pay careful attention to maintaining preventive levels for periods long enough to affect the life cycle of coccidia.2 CORID should be used for a period of 21 days.6

If treatment is needed, use a coccidiostat solution product, like CORID, at the first signs of the disease — such as diarrhea and dehydration. Producers should consider treating on a herd basis. Once a calf shows signs of the disease, it is likely the rest of the group has been exposed.2

Because of the difficulty of identifying the disease before the damage is done, prevention methods are best to help avoid subclinical and clinical incidences of coccidiosis.

“CORID is effective as an aid in preventing coccidiosis because coccidia grow in the cells that line the intestine and CORID stops them at a critical stage while they’re in the host’s small intestine,” Dr. Dedrickson says. “This helps to prevent more damaging cases of clinical coccidiosis from occurring in the large intestine.”

CORID also is effective as an aid in a treatment regimen, Dr. Dedrickson says, so producers can use it when they see an outbreak.

The option to aid in both prevention and treatment is just part of the reason that CORID is a good fit for all producers. It is available in several sizes and formulations and offers a choice of administration routes — as a feed or water additive, or as a drench.

“Convenience and effectiveness have made CORID the leading choice in coccidiostats,” Dr. Dedrickson says. “Coccidiosis can rob cattle producers of their returns; it’s a very common, costly, and mostly unseen, threat. That is why using CORID to help keep calves healthy and prevent coccidiosis during stressful winter months should be a staple in all producers’ animal health programs.”

For more information, contact your local Merial sales representative.

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs more than 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2007 sales were nearly $2.5 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see