By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is decoquinate?

Decoquinate (brand name: Deccox®) is an antiparasitic medication used to prevent coccidia infections in dogs. It may also be effective in treating or preventing hepatozoonosis or sarcocystosis myositis.

Its use in dogs to prevent certain parasitic infections is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their direction may be significantly different from those on the label. Image of coccidia oocysts via Wikimedia Commons/Joel Mills (CC BY-SA 3.0.)

How is decoquinate given?

Decoquinate is given by mouth in the form of granules or a powder. It should be mixed well into food immediately before administering. Discard unused portions. It should be given for at least 4 weeks when used as a coccidia preventative.

This medication may take a few weeks before reaching its full effect. Effects may not be noted outwardly and therefore laboratory tests may need to be done to evaluate this medication’s effectiveness.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

Decoquinate has a wide safety margin and there are no reported side effects at this time.

This short to moderate-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Decoquinate  should not be used in pets that are allergic to it. It should not be used to treat coccidia infections as it is not effective for this purpose; it is only effective to prevent coccidia It should be used cautiously in pregnant or lactating pets.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

There are no specific drug interactions with decoquinate. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

There is no specific monitoring that needs to be done while your pet is taking this medication. Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working.

How do I store decoquinate?

Store in a cool, dry place below 77°F (25°C) and in an airtight container.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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