Cecal coccidiosis may produce bloody droppings and anemia that is oftenfollowed by death. Intestinal coccidiosis is not as acute and is more chronic innature. It produces less mortality than the cecal form.Lesions of the infection depend on the species of coccidia causing the problem,its severity and stage of the disease. Cecal coccidiosis may produce a ballooningof the cecal pouches that is filled with free blood. A later stage is characterized bycecae that are filled with a material with a cheesy consistency and being tingedwith variable amounts of blood. Lesions of intestinal coccidiosis vary from arather mild enteritis to a severe necrotic or hemorrhagic type.Cecal coccidiosis may be confused with blackhead and salmonellosis due to their similar lesions. Intestinal coccidiosis may be confused with hemorrhagic anemiasyndrome and other enteric diseases. Definite diagnosis is made from themicroscopic examination of scrapings of the digestive tract and identification of the coccidia organisms. Since it is common for healthy birds to possess somecoccidia, consideration of flock history and lesions must be considered beforemaking diagnosis and treatment recommendations.It is difficult, if not impossible, to prevent coccidiosis by sanitation alone. It is bestprevented by addition of a drug (coccidiostat) to the feed that controls the growthof coccidia in the digestive tract. Many coccidiostats are available commercially.Coccidiostats should not be indiscriminately used and recommendations must befollowed precisely.A coccidiosis vaccine is also available commercially. The product is useful only incertain types of poultry operations and must be used as recommended. Seekexpert advice before using the vaccine.
Blackhead (Histomoniasis, Enterohepatitis)
Blackhead is an acute or chronic protozoan disease of fowl, primarily affectingthe cecae and liver. The disease is present wherever poultry are raised.Blackhead is one of the critical diseases of growing turkeys and game birds. Itmay cause stunted growth, poor feed utilization and death. It is of lesser economic importance in chickens since they are more resistant, but the incidencein chickens apparently is increasing.Blackhead is caused by a protozoan parasite called
.The organism in passed in the fecal material of infected birds. In many instances,the organism is shed within the eggs of the cecal worm of chickens, turkeys andgame birds. Free-living blackhead organisms do not survive long in nature, butthose in cecal worm eggs may survive for years. Therefore, most blackhead