Kill Giardia and Coccidia

Want to get rid of giardia and coccidia naturally? Recently I found a wonderfully easy home remedy to combat these parasites. It’s with coconut oil.

I really couldn’t find any side effects from coconut oil and use it as often as possible in the pups’ diet.

I feel it is safe enough to use when I wean my litters of Sheltie puppies. After all, who needs giardia or coccidiosis hanging around

What's In Coconut Oil That Kills Giardia And Coccidia?

Coconuts contain lauric acid which is converted to monolaurin in the digestive tract. That is the substance which kills these two parasites. Monolaurin is absorbed into the parasites and then it explodes from the inside.

KA-BOOM! Bye-Bye giardia! KA-POW! Bye-Bye coccidia!

The physical characteristics of unrefined coconut oil is that it is solid until it reaches about 76 degrees, so in the beginning I just scooped out about a tablespoon per bowl and plopped it on top of whatever the meal happened to be. It also has a lovely coconut fragrance. (Expeller or refined coconut oil on the other hand, is liquid and the oil has been deodorized so it has no fragrance).

Only about half of my shelties’ meals need to be put in a bowl, so that meant they only got this about 50% of the time. I have since added a few other natural supplements and now make individual doses that I can just hand out like treats whenever I choose.

In addition to killing protozoans coconut oil is an antifungal and the medium chain fatty acids are good for general health.

The hard part is picking out the product that gives you the biggest bang for your buck nutritionally speaking.

Giardia and Coccidia Killer Coconut

And the winner is....

After much head spinning and reading, I found this to be the description I look for in any coconut oil I buy.

Extra Virgin, Organic, Cold Pressed, Unrefined, Coconut Oil.

From what I can tell there is no difference between Virgin and Extra Virgin. There is also no industry standard to describe these two as there is with olive oil.

There is expeller expressed which is much cheaper than cold pressed, which I'm thinking means it is less nutritionally packed.

I buy in bulk tubs, sit the bucket in warm water to soften it enough to slide out of the container into a pan to heat and melt completely. Then I pour into 2 cup containers and let it solidify for storage. This makes it much easier to handle.

What Else Is In That Magic Bag Of Tricks For Giardia And Coccidia?

There are also pharmaceuticals on the market to treat these parasites.  Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals deal specifically with one organism or the other but not both. As far as I am aware, all of these are available over the counter without a prescription. 

Giardia Medications

Brand Name: Flagyl or Aqua-Zole / Generic: Metronidazole

Buy 250 mg tablets. 

  • Give 11.5 to 15 mg per lb twice a day for 5 days.

Brand Name: Panacur or SafeGuard / Generic: Fenbendazole

Panacur comes in 3 individual packets in a box based on the dog’s weight. NO measuring is needed. SafeGuard liquid (advertised for goats and sheep) or paste (for horses) need to be measured out for the proper doses. Depending on the size of the sheltie you are dealing with, you may have to transfer the paste from the original large horse sized syringe to a smaller one to properly administer the right amount.

  • Give 22.5 to 25 mg/lb once daily for 5 days 

Coccidia Medications

There are several pharmaceuticals that can be used to treat coccidia. Most are considered off-label use because they have not been approved specifically for dogs, but they work.

For the past 6 years or so, I haven’t had any issues with my adult dogs getting coccidia, but every once in a while a  litter of pups tests positive for it in spite of being asymptomatic (they don’t get diarrhea). 

My guess is that since I am mixing the coconut oil into an entire litter’s meal, some pups may not get enough to kill off the parasite. So where do the pups get the coccidia? 

From the dam possibly during nursing, though adults tests negative all the time, so I’m leaning towards the pups getting it directly from the environment.  When the weather is warm enough, the pups go out to play in a large pen and coccidia is in the ground.

If the pups test positive I use pharmaceuticals as they are to go to their new homes soon and I want them to go clean.  There are a variety of drugs for coccidia that can be used.

Brand Name: Albon / Generic: Sulfadimethoxine

This first, well known, traditional medication is of course, an ALBON® prescription through your vet. It used to be you could purchase the generic version of the brand name, sulfadimethoxine over the counter / online in order to treat your dog without going to the vet. Well, obviously SOMEONE wasn’t very happy with that because now even the generic requires a prescription. I then looked into feed stores that carry a variety of medications for chickens including sulfadiamethoxine and also online fish stores that carry antibiotics. 

Someone has been very thorough. I have been unable to find even that over the counter anymore.

But let’s say you either got the Albon from the vet or sent a vet prescription to an online store for the cheaper generic version. Many times after treatment, the coccidia “comes back”. in subsequent fecal tests. One of two things could be happening:

  1. The dog is reinfecting himself with coccidia that is living in the outside environment.
  2. Chances are, the prescription you were given is the typical 25 mg per lb for the first dose and then 12.5 mg per lb daily for 5 days which is, unfortunately, no longer effective as the coccidia is becoming resistant to the medication. My vet generally orders those doses twice a day for 10 days in order to eradicate the coccidia. You may want to discuss this with your vet.

Just as an FYI, Albon does not actually kill the coccidia, it just renders it unable to reproduce, so they die off by attrition.

 NOTE: Albon is safe to use on pregnant bitches after day 35 of gestation. As well as the puppies which can go on Albon or a generic after weaning for seven days.

Brand Name: CocciGuard / Generic: Decoquinate

Decoquinate works similar to Albon in that it prevents coccidia from reproducing so they die from attrition (old age). 

NOTE: CocciGuard can also be used with pregnant bitches. Feed the last two weeks of pregnancy. This decreases the number of Coccidia the mother can pass on to the puppies. Then you can wean the puppies onto CocciGuard, if you wish. so it controls the issue until you move them to their new home.

Brand Name: Marquis / Generic: Ponazuril

Another option is Marquis® paste is used as treatment for coccidia in horses. It has been found effective for dogs and young puppies as well. The nice thing about Marquis is it is once daily for 1 to 3 days depending on the severity of the symptoms and then you are done. 

While it can be purchased at your local feed store or online you have to do some diluting so you have the correct strength. 

Concentration of the paste is 15% (150mg ponazuril/gram of paste). 127 grams (4.5 oz.) at 150 mg/gm (19,050 mgs total per tube). 

20 mls Marquis paste + 5 mls water + 5 mls syrup for flavor = 30 mls of 100 mg/ml solution

Depending on where you get your info for animals testing positive for coccidia, I have seen the dosing anywhere from 10 mg/lb to 25 mg/lb once daily for 3-5 days depending on severity of clinical signs.

A recent study by Lister, et. al. found the use of oral ponazuril at 25mg/lb once daily for 3 consecutive days for the treatment of coccidiosis in dogs and cats to be effective. 

Brand Name: Baycox / Generic: Toltrazuril

The brand name, Baycox is not sold in the USA. Only the generic is available. 

Also “off-label” in its use for coccidia in dogs, Toltrazuril comes as a liquid form for horses and again needs to be diluted for administration in the right doses. 

Again, once a day for anywhere from 1 to 3 days does the trick. And from what I understand both Marquis and Toltrazuril actually kill the coccidia, not just interrupt their reproduction.

A trial found Toltrazuril at

  • 15 mg/lb once or 
  • 7.5 mg/lb repeated daily for three days, then repeated again 10 days later 

was effective in clearing coccidial infection in experimentally infected kittens.

I’ve had the opportunity to use Toltrazuril with only one litter so far. Again, my pups always have normal looking firm, formed stool,It is just the fecal test comes back positive.  I administered one dose, waited a day or two before taking a stool specimen and got an all clear result.

Brand Name: Corid / Generic Name: Amprolium

The taste  of Amprolium is terrible, so some people add some flavoring. Do not mix it in the drinking water even though the directions state it is a viable means of administering because the dogs tend to get dehydrated from not drinking. The preferred way to use Amprolium is to drench the puppy daily.

There are 96 mg of Amprolium in 1 ml of Corid 9.6% Solution.

5-Day Treatment: Add 3 fl oz Corid® 9.6% Solution to 1 pt of water and give 3 ml of this drench solution for each 10 lb body weight. This will provide a dose of approximately 10 mg amprolium/kg (2.2 lb) body weight. Give daily for 5 days. 

Diluted solutions may be stored in a clean, closed, labeled container for up to 3 days.

Want To Know More About Other Whole Foods That Kill Parasites?

Stop by my page on dog food supplements. Find out what I use and where you can get the ingredients to do the same!!

There is also the informative page on dog parasites if you need information on something other than giardia and coccidia.

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