Pinkeye in calves is a long-established animal health problem, which could be a severely painful and highly infectious eye disease. Sometimes it causes temporary or permanent blindness if it is not treated adequately. It is another name of Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) that also causes inflammation. Most of you must be aware of the pinkeye but may not be familiar with its treatment and how you can minimize its spread to the other calves.
The pinkeye in calves can affect severely but here are some points that show how those are as follows-
- The disease has an economic impact because it spreads easily.
- Pinkeye can affect up to 85-90% of the herd that is around the infected calf.
- The disease can become even severe as the eye becomes sensitive to UV light.
- The affected calves can lose their body weight.
- In case, if both the eyes get affected that happens very rarely; the cattle can die from hunger, thirst, and minor accidents.
- The highly dangerous period when the risk becomes worst is late spring and summer.
- The risk of pinkeye also increases when you force calves to graze low in the stalky feed.
How to prevent your calves from pinkeye?
The first sign of pinkeye is weepy eyes which occur due to the development of cloudiness by a central ulcer. If it is not treated then ulcer can become larger due to which pus forms in the eyes that increase pressure as well as eventual rupture of the eye in various cases. Pink eye can cause prolonged and serious pain so you should take cautionary actions to get rid of the disease even before.
When your calves are young you should supplement vitamin A as the calves not reared by cows face this deficiency naturally that can lead to pinkeye. It is the most essential vitamin to fight against the disease and is mainly beneficial for vision and protecting the eyes from getting infected. Furthermore, vitamin A also protects the immune cells that fight against viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections so it is essential to avoid such deficiencies in your calves. Another major contributor to the pink eye is stress and the environment so you should have a reliable preventative plan to get rid of harmful factors and take effective care of your calves that weakens the immune system as well.
How to improve the incidence of pinkeye in calves?
When it comes to improving the incidence of pinkeye in calves, you must have about the supplement of kelp, but do you know it can help your calves? When you supplement your calves’ diet with kelp it can assist greatly to fulfill the need for valuable vitamins and minerals that your calf must have lost in the stressful period as it has over 60 vitamins and minerals.
Note – If you are among them who are not aware of the kelp then it is a plant that is highly absorbable and easily available for cattle.
Research on Pinkeye in New Zealand
There are about 10 million calves in New Zealand and among them; about 10% develop a disease a year depending on the season which means there are about a million calves that come in contact with the disease. Until today it has never been possible to differentiate between types of Moraxella and it is about to change with a new QPCR machine that can make the science community learn exactly about the viruses with which the calves have to deal and hopefully a vaccine can be developed to cover all the strains. If the currently used antibiotics will reduce the efficacy then the vets can face a severe animal health challenge and it can be avoided by further widespread diagnostic testing.