Page 13 - MWC 09-9-2021s
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The Midwest Cattleman · September 9, 2021 · P13
       Do not let Pinkeye Decrease Efficiencies in Summer Grazing

                                                       By Connor Biehler, Nebraska Extension Educator
         It is no secret that rainfall  junctivitis (IBK) or pinkeye.  severe, can cause blindness if  address symptoms (tearing,
      and humidity aid in the qual- Pinkeye is a highly conta- left untreated, and will likely  squinting, and blinking) im-
      ity and quantity of summer  gious disease that promotes  cause significant reductions  mediately before exponential
      forage production. However,  inflammation of the cornea  in performance of cattle.                      growth causes significant
      these two factors also con- and           conjunctiva      portions      There  is  a  higher  inci- production losses.
      tribute to the fly populations.  of the eye.  The occurrence  dence of pinkeye in calves                   In most scenarios, the best
      Not only do large fly popu- of pinkeye increases in the  as  opposed  to  adult cattle,  way to prevent an outbreak
      lations  cause  irritation  that  spring and peaks in the sum- who have greater levels of  is  to  control  the  flies.  Fly
      creates devastating produc- mer months before decreas- protective antibodies on the  control comes in many forms
      tion losses, but also spreads  ing in the fall. The severity of  surface of the eye. Calves  and can include pour-ons, fly
      infectious bovine keratocon- pinkeye ranges from mild to  who have been plagued with  tags, sprays, or dust-bags.
                                                                            pinkeye will weigh as much  Fly tags work best when
                                                                            as 60 pounds lighter on sale  administered at the proper
                                                                            day, and white scars on their  time. Unfortunately, this op-
                                                                            eyes causes less aggressive  timal time usually falls after
                                                                            bidding from cattle buy- vaccinating and de-horning.
                                                                            ers. Once pinkeye begins to  If administered then, the ef-
                                                                            spread in a herd, it can be  ficacy of the fly tag will be
                                                                            difficult to contain.    There- compromised due to these
                                                                            fore, it is highly encouraged  dates  usually  taking  place
                                                                            for producers to mitigate risk  60 days prior to fly season.
                                                                            factors. Face flies are attract- Many pinkeye vaccines re-
                                                                            ed to the excessive tearing of  quire a booster closer to fly
                                                                            the eye caused by the irrita- season. This could potential-
                                                                            tion. They then pick up the  ly be a good time to adminis-
                                                                            causative bacteria of pink- ter fly tags.
                                                                            eye and begin transferring           Other ways to reduce pink-
                                                                            it to other animals, with the  eye:
                                                                            ability to infect several an-        -Reduce as many risk fac-
      In most scenarios, the best way to prevent a pinkeye outbreak is to control the flies.   imals in the same day. Im- tors as possible that cause
      Photo credit Troy Walz.                                               portantly, producers need to                    continued on page 14

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