Coccidia are tiny parasites that live in the cells of sheep intestines. The tiny oocysts containing the infective stages are passed out in the animals' faeces and are picked up by other sheep through contaminated feed and water. 

It is the result of a heavy oocyst challenge in young susceptible lambs that usually leads to an outbreak of the disease, with the resultant loss of condition and possible death.

Often the problem starts very early on in the life of the lamb with contamination from the ewe following birth in the lambing pen or shed.

Ewes act as a reservoir of infection, without showing symptoms and shed low numbers of oocysts, particularly around lambing time.

It is essential to have a good hygiene and husbandry regime to prevent infection, which includes keeping pens and troughs clean. The regime should also contain a preventative course of an effective coccidiostat for the ewes before they are brought into the lambing shed, this will reduce the likelihood of infecting the newborn lamb with oocytes from the ewes' teats or infected bedding.

Without doubt Coccidiosis should be treated as a flock problem rather than an individual one.

High levels of coccidia, especially in lambs, can severely damage the intestinal lining resulting in poor or reduced absorption of nutrients and subsequent weight loss. The damage can also result in bloody and dark diarrhoea, causing dehydration and death.

Lambs rapidly multiply the infection, producing large numbers of oocysts to contaminate the environment. Later lambs then face a severe challenge, resulting in clinical infections.

Feeding a coccidiostat to ewes prior to lambing will, effectively, 'clean out' the ewes, reducing the infestation in the environment giving newborn lambs a window of protection when they are most vulnerable.

It is also important to make the coccidiostat available to the lambs as soon as they are born because whatever precautions are taken there may be a small quantity of oocysts present in the environment, which will multiply many times over through their 28-day life cycle in the lambs, putting pressure on the lambs while they are still very vulnerable to infection.

This is where the coccidiostat, Decoquinate, that is contained in the Denis Brinicombe tubs Coxi-Clear Ewe and Coxi-Clear Lamb comes into play.

This stress free method of administering the Decoquinate coccidiostat treatment pre-lambing will act to flush the oocytes out of the intestine prior to the ewe going into the lambing shed and pens, where the newborn lamb can become infected.

Remembering that the coccidia life cycle is 28 days either tub given to ewes 4 weeks pre-lambing, will result in a vital window of protection for the newborn lambs, as there will be a dramatic reduction in the number of oocytes passed out by ewes in the lambing sheds.

Additionally, having the tubs on offer as the ewes and lambs go out to pasture will see a continuation of protection during this vital early period in the lamb's life; to a time when the lambs can handle lower concentrations of oocyst contamination.

No shepherd will willingly put pregnant ewes under stress near to lambing so these tubs will supply the required protection without the problems that are associated with handling pregnant ewes.