(for veterinary information only)
BRAND NAMES: MARQUIS, PONALRESTAT
Coccidia are single-celled organisms that attack intestinal cells causing a potentially life-threatening diarrhea. Most mammals and birds can be infected, pets and livestock alike. Some species of coccidia can be transmitted to humans. The traditional medications are called "coccidostats" meaning that they interfere with coccidian reproduction. Coccidia are not killed by these medications but the cessation of reproduction buys time for the host's own immune system to respond and have fewer organisms to defeat. The host depends on a competent immune system to cure the infection and the time required to remove the infection is highly dependent on the number of organisms already present when treatment begins.
Ponazuril represents a new approach to treatment. Ponazuril actually kills the coccidia which makes for a faster response to treatment and shorter course of therapy. The problem for dogs and cats is that ponazuril is manufactured for horses and comes in paste that is impractical for small animal use. The paste can be diluted and used orally in dogs and cats for control of coccidia. It is common for animal shelters and other areas where coccidia are common to automatically treat puppies and kittens and intake.
For more information on coccidia click here.
HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED
For intestinal coccidia, the compounded formula is given orally for 1 - 7 days.
For Toxoplasmosis or to treat infection with Neospora caninum (tissue infections often involving the nervous system), ponazuril should be given approximately one month.
Horses sometimes get an upset stomach or even a rash around the mouth where the medication is delivered. (In horses, ponazuril is often given for 28 days as their target parasite requires a longer course). So far this medication has not been formally studied in small animals despite its wide use in shelter situations.
There have been reports of reduced ability to produce tears (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) in dogs, particularly in breeds that have a predisposition to having tear function problems.
CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS
Ponazuril has not been studied in pregnancy, even in horses.
Page posted: 8/24/2008