Management Time to Reduce Cattle Herd Pinkeye Issues

Stockton, Mo.- “As summer approaches environmental factors are present to cause pinkeye in cattle,” says Patrick Davis MU Extension Livestock Field Specialist.  Pinkeye can lead to reduced cattle performance which negatively impacts cattle operation profitability.  Davis shares thoughts below on management of environmental factors to reduce the incidence of pinkeye in the cattle herd. “The main culprit bacteria that causes pinkeye is Moraxella bovis,” says Davis.  Face flies irritate the eye and transmit the bacteria causing pinkeye.  “Face fly control is a management strategy to reduce the incidence of pinkeye,” Davis continues.  Fly control methods include backrubbers, dust bags, insecticide products, and oral larvicides.  As fly populations increase with summer, Davis urges cattle producers to utilize the best fly control methods to control flies and pinkeye in their cattle herd. “Plant material and dust can irritate the eye and contribute to pinkeye problems,” says Davis.  As summer approaches, cool season forages mature and during grazing, seed heads can irritate the eye leading to pinkeye.  Also, the summer heat leads to a dry dusty environment, which can irritate the eye leading to pinkeye.  Davis urges cattle producers to clip pastures to reduce seedheads, eye irritation and incidence of pink eye.       

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