Question on Pink Eye

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Ky gal, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. Ky gal

    Ky gal Well-Known Member

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    We had three cows get pink eye this summer. They have been cured, but I was wondering if the others are in jeopardy.


    What I mean is, can a cow get pink eye if they are in the same pasture with one that used to have pink eye but has been cured of it?

    .
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Pink eye can spread, however not everyone will get pinkeye. We have had some get it, while others in the same pasture do not get it.


    Jeff
     

  3. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    I know that flies can spread it. Also direct contact from infected animal. I wonder how many animals get burdock or other plant particles in their eyes and are treated for pinkeye? Anyone else have experience with this?
     
  4. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    Don't have cattle, and in fact, very few of my goats have ever had pinkeye. However, my kids have brought it home from public school at least 3-4 times, infecting most of the family! :grump: One of my boys in particular seems to be especially susceptible to it, making me wonder whether there is a genetic weakness towards it.

    It doesn't seem to hang around the premises and reinfect us (although I always wash all the sheets and pillowcases, washclothes, towels, clothing used during that time, etc) once everyone is over it. If it did, we'd have it all the time....I don't think that the bacteria or whatever lives for very long off of the body.

    As an aside, a very cheap, easy, and effective way to treat pinkeye is with salt, plain old table salt (or sea salt works, too). Just pour some on your hand, and blow it into the animal's eye. For us, I usually make a saline solution by boiling enough water and salt that it stings but doesn't burn. It is a lot more effective than that smeary gooey ointment that the doctor gave us, and easier to use (just wash out the eye with it).
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    My suggestion would be to include pink eye vaccines as a normal part of your herd health problem. Pink eye often responds to antibiotics, such as LA200.

    I haven't had a case of pink eye in about six years, so don't vaccinate for it. However, first case and I will be back to vaccinating.
     
  6. garry

    garry New Member

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    try a good quality of loose mineral out at all times and this should take care of your problem, suggest you talk to your local vet or mineral rep. be careful sometimes rednose can be the cause and not pinkeye . good luck
     
  7. Ky gal

    Ky gal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for everyones response on this.

    We are trying to decide if we should sell these cows. We don't want it to spread even though they have been treated. When I found a cow with it, I drenched their eyes with LA200 for several days this summer.

    I realize that tall weeds scraping and injuring the eyes as they eat and then flys getting in there (may/probably) be causing these infections. Well, this was the situation anyway around here. We didn't have any grass left due to the drought and we cordend off old pasture for them that had good grass but also tall weeds. It was too steep to bushhog.

    I'm thinking this was the reason for the outbreak as we have not had this problem until this year.

    I've done alot of research since then but haven't found anything that says cows can't get pinkeye from a cow that had pinkeye but has been cured. So, I'm guessing that YES they can and we should sell. :(
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Seems like you might be throwing the baby out with the bath water by selling them.

    According to the Merck Vet Manual, "Recovered cattle appear to be immune, although they may remain carriers of M. Bovis..."

    Talk to your local vet before selling them. I rather suspect they will advise to annually vaccinate (even if the vaccines aren't 100% effective), then treat cases as they arise. Something like LA 200 can be sprayed in the eye and injected between the skin and body at the same time. I once treated a young bull by injecting PE vaccine into the area around the eye, then put on a glue-on eye patch. He recovered nicely, but who is to say it wasn't in spite of the treatment.

    Your problem may have been just a odd-ball year with the drought putting the right combination of elements into play.
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I had rather have a brood cow that has had pink eye than one that has not had it. I have never witnessed a cow have a repeat case with pink eye in the eye that had the problem previously. I also learned something I did not know regarding pink eye. That being that there are different strains of the disease and that the common strain here in NC is one that will spontaneously heal itself. (This is why so many home remedies seem to work, most only create additional agony to the animal) I was told to wait two weeks without doing anything. If the problem persists then treat it. Otherwise, the problem will self correct. Since learning this, I have not had to treat a single case. Being as I do keep my pastures clipped to where the cattle have few irritations to the eye area the pink eye problem is minimal. Fly control is essential also. I do not use fly control ear tags but instead use a rub. Current cattle 133
     
  10. Ky gal

    Ky gal Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't sleep...I have nights like that every now & then. Anyway, I checked in to find two more post to my question and will take this time to respond.

    Maybe it was an oddball year, it sure seemed like it. A couple of the cows have large white spots on one eye and may be blind. I didn't notice their problem until it was too late really and I blame myself for not being diligent enough. The other one I managed to get up into the barn and treat and she's looking pretty good!

    Thankyou Ken for the information from the Merck Vet Manual. I need to visit that manual more often. It never occured to me to look there. But before I gave up looking, I knew if there was an answer it would be from someone on this site. Some of the folk around this county do vaccinate for it, most don't including us and that may change.

    agmantoo, I didn't know that once they get it they didn't repeat. That's good news and that there are different strands of pinkeye, not so good. You have a nice herd. At the moment we have 30 different size Angus. Almost too big for us.
     
  11. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvmindexjsp You can access it online. My thought was that burdock seed, in particular, can cause alot of damage to cattle. Even if it is too small to see in their eye. It is relatively cheap and easy to get rid of burdock from your pasture to preclude any problems
     
  12. Ky gal

    Ky gal Well-Known Member

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    woodspirit, thanks for the info. We do have burdock on the farm. How do you get rid of it and is it ok to leave the cows on the pasture?
     
  13. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    It's the seeds that cause problems. They have small barbs on them. I would spot treat the burdock with roundup. The leaves are big so it should be pretty easy to spot and treat. Roundup is more effective if you put a drop of dishsoap in the mix. Alot of problem plants have oils in them that cause water and other liquids to bead up and rol off the leaves. The soap will cause the water to be "wet" and allow the roundup to stay where you spray. Put something over the plants you spray to keep the cows off it for about a week.
     
  14. Ky gal

    Ky gal Well-Known Member

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    woodspirit, I'm constantly learning new information here.
     
  15. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

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    We have a small herd of 16 cows....age 5 and under. We do include the pink eye vaccine as part of their care. We also free feed loose minerals high in Vit A and we set the brushhog high and just mow off the whispy seed tops of the grasses. We also use an insecticide ear tag in each ear and we have our back rubs or oiler placed where they must come under it to get grain. With all of that we do still have one or two cows each summer with symptoms of pink eye. We have two neighbors with cattle who don't spend a dime on vaccine or vet care...when flies are their worst...they travel and spread this disease.

    So...we quit paying the vet a $30 trip charge and we keep the medicine on hand. As soon as we see a cow with a runny eye and she is squinting or holding that eye closed....we run her through the chute and inject LA200 in the muscle and penecillin G in the eyelid. I wipe the face with the horses fly spray to keep the flys away to speed the healing. In a matter of a couple days they eye stops draining and if there was a white spot present...it does also go away and the eye becomes bright and clear again.

    The key to successful treating is to take preventative measures and treat any symptoms early. Your cows will thank you! So...don't sell those cows....eliminate the flies! :rock:
     
  16. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Pink Eye Vaccine is one of those that most vets consider not
    cost-effective--in short it does not work well enough to make it worthwhile.

    LA 200 cures pink eye. The old remedies that burned the cows' eyes seemed to work because pink eye is self-limiting--it goes away on its own.

    First case I had I treated with LA 200 and told an old cattleman here that I was worried about the cow. He told me to go home, take two aspirin and in about two weeks the pinkeye would go away. It did. The cow had a white spot in her eye and that went away too. Have since had a couple more cases and treated with LA 200 simply because the cows were hurting and the hurt goes away quicker when treated. All the animals are still in the herd and working well.
    Ox
     
  17. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    For salt (probably common table salt) rubbed or sprayed in the eye to work it would have to mean the cow was grossly deficient in either sodium or iodine (which is in most table salt today to help prevent goiter). It seems like it might be possible if the pinkeye was caused by an extreme internal deficiency of one or both, salt might work (and I don't think it is related). However, here again prevention (such as free access to salt with the proper amount of iodine in it) would be far better for the animal than the attempt to cure.

    When I purchase cattle from the livestock auction they are held in the corral for a couple of days to get use to the change. I put a trace mineral salt block in it. Surprising how many cows lick and lick when they find it, indicating to me the previous owner hadn't been furnishing salt (and/or the trace minerals) to them.
     
  18. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    No. It worked on me and all of my children as well for our own pinkeye, and we get plenty of salt in our diet. :lol: And sea salt works just as well as iodized.

    I think what it is, is that the pinkeye bacteria (it is a bacteria, not a virus) cannot live in a salty environment. Our eyes are lubricated with saline solution, and the eye's first reaction to pinkeye is to start watering a lot and producing more tears than usual. BTW...I would never, ever rub salt into the eye- that could scratch the surface of the eye!

    I have a buck who managed to puncture his eye on a rusty screw. :eek:uch: HIs eye clouded over and looked horrible. He couldn't see from that side, and I was sure that he'd be half blind for the rest of his life. My friend told me to blow salt into his eye. I was skeptical, but at that point, there wasn't a lot to lose, so I did it. After the first application, the redness went awat and he seemed to be in a lo less discomfort- the improvement was visible. So I did it one more time. The cloudiness went away, his eye recovered except for a very small white spot right where the screw went in, and he can actually see from that eye now, which amazes me.

    I would not have believed it had I not seen it myself...
     
  19. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    I was just wondering if horses get pink eye as often as cattle seem to?
    I also wonder if a face net like horses wear would help cattle with keeping flies out of there eyes?
     
  20. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yep, the first time we had pinkeye I called my vet, he said"we can treat it and it will clear up in 10-14 days. Or just ignore it and it will go away in 1 1/2 -2 weeks. We vaccinate and haven't had any problems since we started.