Pinkeye Outbreak Prevention
How to Help Prevent, Treat and Control Pinkeye in LivestockAre you thinking pink? Pinkeye, that is – and how it can affect your cattle herd? A single cow with pinkeye can lead to, dare we say, an “udder” mess in your operation. While treatment is possible once it’s caught, prevention is a far more cost-effective and reliable strategy. See how with early vaccination, fly control, pasture maintenance and other solutions, you can prevent, treat and control pinkeye in livestock.
What is Pinkeye?
The spread of pinkeye occurs when cows come in contact with eye or nose secretions of an infected animal. This can happen in close quarters – when they share a feeder or face covering – or while roaming the pasture. A cow’s excessive tears also attract flies that spread the bacteria to other animals. Flies carry M. bovis for as many as three days, and one fly can spread it to several other animals in a single day.
Cattle Pinkeye Stages
Stage two of the eye disease brings increased cloudiness in the eye. The cornea will start looking pink or red and may begin to affect the cow’s vision. If an ulcer expands large enough to cover most of the cow’s cornea, you’ve crossed into stage three. By now, pus is present in the eye with a more yellow than pink shade, and it could mean irreparable damage.
Ulcers can heal and become clear again, but when they reach the point of extending through the cornea and the iris sticks out from the ulcer, a vet will often recommend removing the eye. There’s no way to heal in this stage, and the risk factors are too great for the rest of the herd.
Pinkeye Cattle Treatment
Livestock PatchesUltraviolet rays can further damage the infected eye(s) so eyepatches both contain the bacteria from spreading and provide a shield from sunlight. You can apply these easy-to-use, biodegradable patches by Curicyn that can be trimmed to fit any animal. Or, try these best-selling Shut-Eye Pinkeye Patches for cattle (with cement adhesive included). They hold medication in place and protect the eye from irritation by insects, grass, weeds, wind and sunlight.
Pinkeye Prevention is Possible
Manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim
Power of Alpha-7 with added pinkeye protection
Manufactured by Merck
Short, 21-day slaughter withdrawal
Aids in preventing disease caused by 7 types of clostridial organisms and Moraxella bovis
Manufactured by Elanco
One dose annually provides protection all season long
Protects healthy cattle and calves against pinkeye caused by four strains of Moraxella bovis
Manufactured by AgriLabs
One dose annually
Safe for pregnant and lactating cattle (no milk withdrawal; 21-day slaughter withdrawal)
Controlling face flies also goes a long way in preventing an outbreak. Remember, flies spread the Moraxella bovis bacteria from animal to animal. Fly tags, sprays, dusts and other fly control products will kill and repel flies on the animals, in hay and feed storage areas, in stall barns, in calf hutches, and elsewhere. Don’t forget to manage breeding grounds like standing water and excessive manure piles where flies gather. Together, these products and maintenance procedures make a huge difference in total fly control.