Dealing With Pinkeye in Cattle

— Written By and last updated by
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Pinkeye or infectious boveine keratoconjunctivitis was first diagnosed in 1889, and remains an economically important disease in cattle today. Caused by the bacterium, Moraxella bovis, with the source the eyes of carrier cattle. The carriers do not necessarily exhibit symptoms but serve as the source of bacteria for the rest of the herd. Face flies are the most prominent vector in the spread of pinkeye. The greater amount of face flies, the higher the risk of pinkeye. Calves are more likely to be infected than adults. Calves born to heifers have more problems than those born to mature cows. Weather conditions may affect the amount of ultraviolet light the animal’s eyes are exposed to. Summer and fall are the height of infection, due to increased light intensity and fly populations. Wind, dust and pollen irritate eyes, making pinkeye more likely. Vaccinating cattle with IBR virus or any modified live vaccine during fly season, may result in increased susceptibility to pinkeye.

Excessive tearing of the eyes and squinting to sunlight is the first sign, and when treatment should start to be most effective. Within 24 to 48 hrs an ulcer will appear, and if left untreated, severe scarring, and ultimately blindness can result.

Long acting tetracyclines are the only labeled treatments for pinkeye. One injection of this product will generally result in fast healing, however, 2 injections are better, as they reduce bacterial load in the eye, limiting the spread of bacteria. Glue on eye patches are also useful, as they protect the infected eyes from sunlight, dust and fly travel, and will fall off on their eye in about 10 days.