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Statesboro-Bulloch animal shelter to euthanize cats
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The Statesboro-Bulloch County Animal Shelter is depopulating its feline house today due to infestations of feline giardia and coccidia.
    Bulloch County Humane Enforcement officer Joey Sanders, who oversees the shelter, said about 35 cats will be euthanized in order to eradicate the diseases. Some cats were taken by foster and rescue groups, including the Bulloch County Humane Society, which is a different entity from the shelter.
    The diseases are treatable, but the shelter cannot treat the cats and receive other felines into the shelter, because the diseases would transfer to the newcomers and keep the infestation ongoing, he said.
    The felines will be euthanized, and the facility will be cleaned and disinfected to ensure newcomers do not contract the diseases, he said.
    "We had the vet in Monday," he said. The decision to hold a depopulation was made after the diagnosis of coccidia and giardia was confirmed, he said.
    The nursery facility, which is separate, will not be depopulated, he said. The nursery contains three mother cats and their litters.
    According to Internet web site, giardiasis is one of the most frequent occurring water-borne diseases in the United States, and is caused by a one-celled parasite called "Giardia lamblia." This disease is characterized by intestinal symptoms that can last from a week to several months, including diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, fatigue, weight loss, and may include, in the chronic phase, loose stools, burping, and increased abdominal gassiness and cramping.
    According to Internet web site, feline coccidiosis is an intestinal tract infection caused by a one-celled organism (protozoa) called coccidia. Coccidia are not parasitic worms; they are microscopic parasites that live within cells of the intestinal lining. Because they live in the intestinal tract and commonly cause diarrhea, they are often confused with worms.
    Sanders said coccidiosis symptoms mimic those of canine parvo; weight loss, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, weakness and eventually death.
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