well finally happened after 15 yrs of doing this stuff 3 mth old calf got pink eye. 3 of the guys had weepy eyes 10 days ago, so got the needle juiced up and hit them all with penicllum, next day 2 guys were cleared up, 3 rd no change, did the penicllum for a couple of days and seperated the problem child, was 4th July wkend he started coughing & runny nose, on tue took little guy to vet got shots in both eyes, and a slow release antiboiatic. Vet felt right eye was not at stage 3 yet, left eye had ulcer on it, thought left eye may not clear up, been 5 days, right eye has got worse,cough came back, started back on pencellum again. Seams to be blind at this point, walks into barn & fence walls, he's alert, finds his food & water OK, crazes in his padock OK. Will get a cow bell to tie onto 1 of his buddies and see what happens? Any ideas on things to do too get this guy by for 2 yrs. It seams like he is using his hearing more to tune in on what is going on around him, and is making adjustments.
Dont lose hope just yet. I have seen them regain a little bit of vision even after I was SURE they are completely blind.
Sometimes they just go a little crazy when the pinkeye is at its most inflamed point.
Especially those first couple days when the pain must be fierce. They crash around a lot.
Just watch him close for now and try to eliminate any obvious hazards for the little dude. Make sure his water source is safe to access.
Be sure he gets enough to eat.
Time will tell.
Good luck with him.
Cows may not be smarter than People, but some cows are smarter than some people.
I've been out of touch with cattle for to long... I used to lay them down and give them a shot of peniccillin directly under the skin of the eyeball. You use a fine gauge needle and a small syringe. All you want is a pocket/bubble of penicillin.
If they were ulcerated, you could use a patch. Never did see one regain total sight, if ulcerated, but they do dry up, and look somewhat normal? Good enough to get them through a ring full of calves, anyway!
I had the vet do the injection in the side of the eyes, diffentently not something I'd be comfy with, did watch but still will not try that one. From what I've read looks like 2 wks should be signs of clearing or indications of whats going to happen, eyes are still watering so keeping isolated. Hopefully guy will have some partial vision, but for now he's blind. Just hope he figures out too follow big brother when I but cow bell on him.
Last edited by VaFarmer; 07/11/11 at 08:55 PM.
Reason: missed word
He may regain some sight but it will never be good. However, blind animals do very well and as you have already noticed, rely on their hearing and get so good at it they can tell the difference in footsteps coming towards them. Their sense of smell also comes into play big time and cattle mainly find their water and the best grass, not by sight but by smell. So your little chap will manage and your part of the deal will be to ensure that he is in safe grazing without any hazards such as creeks or waterways, steep slopes, unfenced cliffs, tomos etc. Don't leave stuff in the paddock that isn't normally there. Don't worry about putting a cow bell on his mate because he will know exactly where he is - by smell.
Cut a patch from old blue jeans and glue same over the eye using the glue that the sale barns uses to apply the back tags. let the patch fall off on its own. I never get overly concerned with a small white spot that often remains on the eye. I also have never observed a repeat infection in a previously bad eye. Healed pinkeye is one of the few things that the sale barn does not dock
I think the key to pinkeye is catching and treating it very early. We had an outbreak some years ago when a cow picked it up at a local fair; 7 more picked it up when we brought her home. We used Biomycin 200 (just one dose, but not in the cow's eye); one cow also had to have a patch and some Banamine. Pinkeye is very contagious. All it takes is one fly.
We vaccinate with Vision 7 plus Pinkeye. Some farmers I know even have autogenous vaccine made for their cattle; they have to send in a swab for analysis so it can be made. Pricey!
VaFarmer, I hope your calf does okay! Whereabouts in VA are you?
We have two blind calves that we have at the barn now. One is a beef heifer of butchering size, she has been blind since she was a small calf. The other is a Holstein steer that has been weaned for several months. We vaccinate, but it doesn't always work. The man at our local livestock medical supplies told us that there are so many types of viruses and many causes of pink eye that the vaccines don't cover everything.
If you can catch pink eye before the eye is ulcerated, it is fairly treatable. Once the eye is ulcerated, they are usually blind in that eye. We have our calves running out is several pastures with a lot of timber so it is not always easy to catch the signs early.
For a bad case, we try to keep the animal in the barn where it is fairly dark while we treat them. We use injections and eye ointment. For mild cases DH usually catches the calf and gives it an injection with eye treatment and turns it back to the pasture. Flies carry the infection and are an eye irritant in themselves.
Once a calf is completely blind the only thing to do is to keep it in a small lot where it can easily find food and water.
asked Vet about what to give rest of the herd and he said not to worry!! I'm not comfy with that answer, so gave everybody a shoot of penicellin, 4 cows are 7 mth old 3 are 3-4 mth old, they say the steers & younger calfs are most at risk. I'm bugged that this 1 guy has the runny nose & cough even after all the drugs shoot in him. I had a patch on the eye stayed on for 2 days but didn't know what to use for a sauve. He has a spot in the barn he goes too for shade, grain & water in there for him, he's still grazing quite a bit. I'm on the west side of the Shenadoah Valley
few years back my herd got it and it kept coming back, did the la200 and shots in the eye and vaccinated. finally got some of the puffer stuff and ran them through the chute almost daily. had a couple calf's with spot in the eye but they sold just fine.
I know it sucks, but it is going to have to run its course.
He is highly stressed and that adds risk for other things, like the runny nose and cough.
It sounds like the whole herd has already been exposed and so the damage is done.
He is still eating and drinking. Just keep him as comfortable as you can.
Try not to worry too much. It doesn't do any good anyhow, in my experience.
Cows may not be smarter than People, but some cows are smarter than some people.
I'm most worried about the other guys being exposed and the pink eye advancing, they've been exposed at this point, don't know if it's under control yet for them? Don't want to deal with a couple of blind cows. Will look into using Biomycin 200 for the herd and a patch and some Banamine, tomorrow.
Can you descripe the eye powder or puffer in more detail? I asked at farm buruea and they didn't have any idea. Been spraying the heard and pink boy with fly repelant every couple of days and that helps a lot, put trays of Golden Marlin out around the barn and there full of dead flys, cleaned them the other day and put fresh powder in not many flies now and in general noteable less flies around the barn already. for a couple of yrs had the big rope drag hanging between 2 trees that cattle would walk under & kept it treated with fly stuff, but never felt it was very effective, some guys would avoid it. and I've got the horses in there so can't but in barn entrance.
Originally Posted by linn
If you can keep them dusted with fly powder around the eyes that should help. A lot of shade will help prevent so much sun glare also. I would use the eye puffer medication on them as a precaution.
va the stuff i used was nfz puffer made by neogen corp. its an eye and ear infection treatment for dogs and cats so you are using it off lable but it works. by the by I spent a lot of time in crozet and sometimes miss virginia
all is pretty much well. Little guy seams to be able to see well enough, flinchs if I swat at his face and walks around obstacales OK. Rest of heard has stayed clean, hit them with special vacine and got special eye wash from vet supply Co. Guy has an ulcer in center of each eye but other than that has bounced back. When I walk out into the field he comes over and buts his head against my leg and waits until I scratch his ears & rub his neck.