Pinkeye can quickly escalate to the biggest challenge for cow-calf herds during late spring and summer. Calves and younger cattle are more susceptible because they have not developed immunity to Moraxella bovis, the primary infectious agent. Pinkeye is spread when one animal comes into contact with infected secretions of another. Flies can harbor M. bovis for up to three days, transmitting it rapidly from infected to non-infected animals.
A three-pronged approach can help you avoid or minimize an outbreak in your herd. 1) Prevent disease by vaccinating prior to pinkeye season. 2) Treat infected cattle with long-acting oxytetracycline and topical Vetericyn Pink Eye Spray. 3) Control the spread of disease with diligent fly control efforts.
• Pinkeye vaccine - Season-long protection in one dose. While vaccine does not prevent all clinical cases, it can be of significant economic benefit in reducing morbidity and permanent eye damage.
• SolidBac Pinkeye IR/PR implants - Includes both immediate and programmed release antigen pellets, for the equivalent of two doses of antigen in one application.
• Long-acting oxytetracycline - M. bovis is usually susceptible to this treatment.
• Vetericyn Pink Eye Spray - Sprayed directly into the eyes, and has been proven to kill M. bovis.
• Fly tags - An economical aid in the control of face flies for up to 5 months.
• Dust bags or cattle rubs charged with insecticide - Allow cattle to self-treat frequently.
As always, if you have questions about the health of your herd, we will do our best to help you find answers that make sense.
Arnold Nagely, DVM • Ray Shultz, DVM