A coccidiostat is a compound added to animal feed to inhibit or delay the development of coccidia, a protozoan parasite that causes scouring and damage to the lining of the small intestines. Ionophores are classified as antibiotics by FDA; however, their use was not affected by the 2017 Veterinary Feed Directive, as they are not medically important to people. In the U.S., Bovatec® (lasalocid) is approved as a coccidiostat for sheep maintained in confinement. Twenty to 30 grams of Bovatec® may be mixed in a ton of sheep feed. Ionophores are not permitted under USDA organic standards, even though there is no slaughter withdrawal and ionophores are not used in people.

Deccox® (decoquinate) is also approved as a coccidiostat for young sheep. It can be mixed in the feed or milk replacer. Rumensin® (monensin) is not approved for use in sheep, but can be prescribed by a veterinarian extra-label, if the other coccidiostats are determined to be ineffective. Rumensin® is toxic to members of the equine family and can be toxic to sheep if it is not mixed properly.


Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease affecting a variety of animals, especially mammals and birds. The causative organism is a microscopic, spore-forming, single-cell protozoa called coccidia. Coccidia are from the same class of organisms (sporozoa) that cause malaria. Coccidia are sub-classified into many genera. In sheep and goats, coccidiosis is caused by the genus Eimeria

Sulfonamides such as sulfamethazine (Sulmet®) or sulfadimethoxine (Di-Methox®) are the other drugs commonly used to treat coccidiosis in sheep. As with other water-soluble antibiotics, sulfa drugs must be obtained from a veterinarian and used under veterinary supervision. Like Corid®, sulfa drugs are added to the drinking water or administered as a drench. Drenching is always preferable, as it ensures that an animal, especially a clinically-parasitized one, gets the proper dose of the drug. Sick and nursing animals are not likely to drink enough water for treatment. Three to five days is the usual treatment duration. There is some toxicity risk with sulfa drugs if they are overdosed or used for prolonged periods. Animals should be weighed to make sure a safe and effective dose is administered.

Uses/benefits of Sulfadimethoxine For Sheep

 Rapid penetration – effective blood and tissue levels reaches rapidly
– Fast-acting – works fast because it’s not inactivated by minerals in drinking water
– Highly palatable – high palatability assures animals receive the entire dosage

Features of Sulfadimethoxine For Sheep

Indications for Use: Use for pneumonia (shipping fever), footrot, and coccidia cases.

Not approved for use in sheep and goats. Refer to extra-label drug use.

Dosage and Administration: Give 25 mg per pound of body weight (55 mg/kg) on the first day and then 12.5 mg per pound for 3-4 more days. This means giving 1/2 of a 5 g bolus per 100 lbs. on the first day and then 1/4 of a 5 g bolus per 100 lbs. for the following 3-4 days. For coccidia, some veterinarians recommend giving 35 mg per pound (75 mg/kg) of body weight for 3-5 days.

Duration of Treatment: If signs continue for longer than 3-4 days, re-evaluation of the problem, along with culture and sensitivity, should be considered.

Precautions and Side Effects: Side effects are of minimal concern.

Storage: Store in a cool dry place.

Milk Withholding: Not established in sheep and goats. 60 days in cattle.

Meat Withholding: Not established in sheep and goats. 7 days in cattle.

Drug Type: O-T-C

Manufacturer: Pfizer, I


Chickens: Add 1 fluid oz. (30 mL) to 2 gallons of drinking water, or 25 fl. oz. to 50 gallons of drinking water
Turkeys: Add 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) to 4 gallons of drinking water or 25 fl. oz. to 100 gallons of drinking water
Dairy Calves, Dairy Heifers and Beef Cattle: 25mg.lb. first day followed by 12.5 mg/lb/day for 4 days (First Day – 1 pint to 25 gallons of water if summer, 1 pint to 16 gallons of water if winter; Next 4 days – 1 pint to 50 gallons of water if summer, 1 pint to 33 gallons of water if winter)

Prices of Sulfadimethoxine For Sheep

$33.99 – $84.99

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