Our puppies had a vet appointment today; they are the picture of good health and growing like weeds. I was particularly relieved when the vet said their poo samples were normal. At our first vet appointment two months ago, she told us their fecal samples indicated they had coccidia infections. “It’s a very common protozoan infection in puppies,” she said, giving us a prescription for medication to treat it.
I went home to see what the internet had to say about coccidia and by the time my husband arrived home, I’d spent several hours online working myself into a frothy near-anxiety attack. I had read multiple horror stories of infections that lasted for a year with the dog eventually dying from chronic diarrhea. And the cleaning suggestions were crazy:
All fecal material should be removed… Most disinfectants do not work well against coccidia; incineration of the feces, and steam cleaning, immersion in boiling water, or a 10% ammonia solution are the best methods to kill coccidia.
Uh, I have to burn their poop? Not to be graphic, but that doesn’t sound like it’s going to smell too pleasant. How do you even burn poo, anyway?
Another site made the situation sound even more dire:
…keeping flies/insects and rodents away (they can also spread this disease on their feet/in their bodies) and cleaning all areas thoroughly are vital.
Oh no! I silently wailed. We live out in the country! How do I keep all the insects away? They’re everywhere! Should I call a pest control company?!
Coccidia organisms are very hardy, can survive for long periods in the soil, and are difficult to kill – most household cleaners aren’t going to be effective.
Cleaning at high temperatures (ie steam cleaning and sterilization with boiling water) is the best option for utensils and toys (ie bowls, chew toys etc.). Wash bedding on the ‘HOT’ cycle in your washing machine with bleach.
Whichever solution you choose, wash all areas thoroughly and leave to soak in for at least 20 mins before rinsing. Grassy areas or soil/dirt can be very difficult in terms of removing all traces of coccidia protozoa. The best thing to do is to soak the area with either of the above cleaning solutions. However, these surfaces can remain contaminated for up to 2 months or more, so bear that in mind.
When my husband caught me making plans to dump buckets of bleach water all over the yard in a panic, he intervened. “Stop being insane,” he ordered. “No one did these crazy things when we were young and you don’t have to do it now. And quit reading all this crap online.”
So I cleaned up their poop right away, but I did not incinerate it; I disposed of it in a plastic bag in the trash. And I didn’t bleach the yard, though I did disinfect their food and water bowls, wash their bedding, and give them their medication. And lo and behold, the next time they went to the vet, she said they were all better. No yard-bleaching needed.
This isn’t the first time I’ve worked myself into a lather over some health thing on the internet; like most mothers, I’ve done this with my children’s illnesses, too. And that’s the problem: going online can be a great way to get information but it can also make everything thing seem absolutely dire and dangerous and horrible and impossible to deal with and on the brink of disaster. It can make you want to hide in your room and never leave the house for fear of what could possibly happen. It can make you paranoid.
Like mothers with their children or puppy-owners, I see men in the manosphere do this pretty excessively, too. They’ll catch wind of a hashtag like #GiveYourMoneyToWomen and flip out and make all kinds of crazy assumptions about women in general, completely missing the fact that 75%+ of the women tweeting that hashtag are prostitutes – as in, literal, actual, professional whores – with the other 25% being seriously hardcore feminist activists. It’s not all that surprising that whores see a business opportunity in commodifying all aspects of male-female interactions, but most women are not prostitutes nor are they feminist activists who want to be paid for cooking dinner and making pleasant conversation. However, if you spend a lot of time reading XOJane and looking around online for the most shocking thing you can find that a couple of whack-job feminist women have written, you’re going to get a really skewed view of what is out there, and end up getting carried away like I nearly did with the bleach (thankfully, my husband was the voice of sanity that kept me from killing all our grass in a panic).
People who are really into preparedness are another group that I sometimes see get really worked up over things that yes, are problems and indicate that our society is looking at a decline, but no, are probably not signs of an imminent catastrophic disintegration of society into a zombie apocalypse type state.
Coccidia is real. You can’t just ignore it and hope it will go away; you have to know and look out for the warning signs and use the prescribed medication. By the same token, there are some really awful women out there and being ignorant of some of the warning signs won’t make them go away. And our country is definitely faring poorly under a liberal government and is in for some seriously tough financial and social times ahead, so prepare yourself. It’s good to be informed about what to watch out for with coccidia, feminists, and our foolish liberal government. But the world is not one giant coccidia heap, nor are all women feminists and whores, and we’re not likely to all be shooting one another over an egg anytime soon. In fact, I suspect my zucchini vines could feed my entire town for a year if everyone would just take a few of them off my hands. 🙂
Use the internet as a source of information, but do try to keep things in perspective; it’s probably not quite as scary as the online ghost stories make it seem.