Pink eye

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Kat, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Kat

    Kat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    South Central Kentucky
    I have (1) cow and (9) calves - am fairly new with cattle - try to keep the flys down with powder on the cattle - noticed recently a lot of tearing, then after a recent storm all eyes seemed okay again. For the past several days our one calf's eyes seemed to be watering and more swollen than usual. Last night noticed that her eyes were cloudy. Separated her by putting her in the barn - not as many flys during the day and dimmer light. We have a vet appt on Saturday - but does anyone have any advice for prevention, treatment, etc. Our calves let us walk up to them but are by no means tame and we really can't get near the cow. I wish there was something I could put in a "super soaker" and just shoot them with it. :) Thanks for your help! Kat
     
  2. Lynn & Chuck

    Lynn & Chuck Member

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    23
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    northeastern South Dakota
    Not much advice for the pink eye, we had a cow with it last year and ended up having the vet out to give her an antibiotic shot. Took care of it rather quickly though.

    The thing that just made me giggle though was your comment on the "super soaker" I have a steer with wound on his side that needs flushing daily at this point and rather than trying to restrain him I have been giving him a pan of feed and flushing it with a "super soaker". He doesn't stress out like he does when restrained and it seems to be taking care of the problem nicely.

    I am glad to hear that someone else is at least thinking along the same lines and I can tell my husband that I am not alone. He has gotten quite a kick out of my creative cattle care lately!

    Hopefully, someone out there has an idea of something that would be useful in your soaker for the pink eye.

    Lynn
     

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Oh, pink eye...my favorite thing!

    Prevention....

    Keep your pastures grazed or clipped to avoid tall, sharp (usually dry) grasses that can poke them in the eyes.

    Control flies. Use a cattle rub or fly ear tags to try to keep the flies off their faces. Feed mineral with the stuff in it that prevents fly larvae from hatching in the manure.

    There is a vaccine. It's too late for this year, but something to consider for next. Some people think it's worthless, but it's cheap. I vaccinated two years ago...no pink eye. I did not vaccinate last year...tons of pink eye. I did not vaccinate this year...so far so good.

    Treatment...

    I generally give them a shot of LA200. My vet has told me to put penicillian in their eyes...just drip it in. I've also been told (but not by a vet) to try putting pig scour stuff in their eyes. They do sell a powdered antiobiotic specifically for pink eye. You squirt the powder in.

    Dim light is said to help, avoiding further irritation is good. They sell eye patches that you stick on and they fall off after 10 days. I have used them and they don't usually last 10 days (especially if a momma cow does not appreciate that strange thing on her baby and takes to licking at it), but they seem to help.

    This might be information you don't need, but....

    if you can walk up to those calves, simply herd them into a corner of the barn and put a gate or panel up against them. Wire it to the wall SECURELY. Get a halter on them and then you have a restrained animal that you can work with. Treat them, release them and they will forgive you in a few days and let you walk back up to them :)

    Ask the vet to show you how to give injections, if you don't know how. It will save you a ton of money.

    The cow may not even get it as they build up immunities over the years (until a new strain comes along).

    Pink eye is left untreated by many people. I do not treat every animal that has signs of it, but will watch them. If both eyes get fairly infected, I bring them in and do them up. Some only get a mild case and I don't do a thing.

    Jena
     
  4. spparks

    spparks New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    WY
    Go to a farm supply store and get some powder antibotic, and eye patches. Put powder in eyes and then patch them, and yes they won't be able to see. However the darkness will take out the cloudiness of the eye, and they will be able to follow a good eyed companion.
     
  5. Kat

    Kat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    South Central Kentucky
    I was anxious to get on line because I knew that you all would be a great help and sure enough you have been. I will discuss the treatments, etc. with my fiance and maybe we can save the stress of hauling them all to the vet and the expense to pay for it. Do you wash their eyes out with a saline solution first or just put the powdered antibiotic in their eyes and patch them? The calves (they're all around 400+ lbs) that are just tearing :waa: and irritated, do I put the antibiotic and patches on them too or just "Red" the one with the cloudy eyes? As for the super soaker, I read "somewhere" that a good deterent for flys is equal parts of Skin So Soft, Vinegar and Water - the flys are sooo bad I'm considering trying this mixture to keep the flys off. I figure when you approach them they face you and when you chase them they turn and run - that's when we'll "shoot" them, whatyathink??? :confused:
     
  6. Hi we have a couple calves with pink eye and 1 that has pink eye in both eyes and is totally blind, but anyways in our family we have always baught la-200 and holded their eye open squirted it in there and then put sugar in it and also gave it a shot of la-200 in the muscle. After that we put them in a dim lighted environment and they always usually get rid of it in no time.
     
  7. At the farm service they will have a large block that you put in field with them. It is to prevent pink eye, we get ours at tractor supply company or TSC in Maysville, KY. at the beginning of fly season. There is also a block to give them that keeps flys away from them, if you want to use it. If you want to go organic, I have used cucumber juice in their eyes, don't laugh, it works, we have a juicer and I put a cucumber in it and just use the juice. Put it in a squirt bottle and make sure it goes in eye. Also you can buy a medicine to put in eye, I am not at home now but will put it in the post reply when I return home. I ordered out of TX, it cost 24.00 for 2, it must go in eye also. You must prevent it, if your neighbor cows have it you will get it to, the flys travel. Some say high weeds or grass, some say mineral defencincy, myself I find the flys seem to be what brings it here.Hope this helps, lexi
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    I follow the route that Jena posted above regarding fly control with a rub and clipping the pasture. I have also learned from the county extension agent and I did some reasearch also that verified his input that in most cases of pink eye the animal will spontaneously heal in less than 2 weeks without doing any treatment. In cases lasting greater than 2 weeks certainly you need to seek treatment. I was also told having pinkeye will build a resistance to future cases in cattle. Often cattle will have a spot in their eye following pinkeye but it apparently does not create a problem nor or the animals discounted at the sale barn for the defect.