How pinkeye becomes a problem in cattle and ways to minimize the damage | TSLN.com

How pinkeye becomes a problem in cattle and ways to minimize the damage

Gayle Smith

Courtesy photo/Richard RandleConjunctivitis developing in the early stages of pinkeye.

With summer fast approaching, cattlemen need to be diligent about monitoring their herds for pinkeye.

According to University of Nebraska extension veterinarian Dr. Richard Randle, pinkeye is a infectious disease that affects cattle worldwide, and causes economic losses of $150-$300 million each year. Most of the losses stem from reduced growth, decreased milk production, costs of treatment, reduced value of infected animals and death loss.

M. bovis, which is the main cause of pinkeye, can be harbored in nasal or ocular secretions. “Asymptomatic carrier animals can shed the organism,” Randle explains. “The infection can also be spread from animal to animal through direct contact, aerosols and vectors.”

The first signs of the infection are tearing, followed by conjunctivitis. An animal could develop keratitis and corneal ulceration. The infection, which is quite painful to cattle, attaches to the cornea of the eye with pili and digests the eye surface with enzymes. It causes an ulceration of the cornea, and the animal to lose its sight.

While the animal is infected, the eye becomes quite sensitive to ultraviolet light, and environmental factors like dust, wind, weeds, pollens and sunlight. The cattle will become dirty-eyed and will squint. “The white portion of the eye becomes inflamed and reddened. Organisms attach to the cornea and bring fluid into the cornea, as well as drawing white blood cells in to fight the infection,” Randle explains. “They can eat through the entire layer of the cornea if the infection progresses enough, but that only occurs in a small percentage of cattle. The vast majority of animals will recover their sight from this disease.”

Once the healing process starts, Randle says cells come in to heal the eye. “The blood vessels infiltrate the cornea to clean up the debris,” he says. “Any tissue that is damaged will develop a scar, which may reduce in size until it is the size of a pinpoint, depending upon how bad the infection was.”

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With summer fast approaching, cattlemen need to be diligent about monitoring their herds for pinkeye.

According to University of Nebraska extension veterinarian Dr. Richard Randle, pinkeye is a infectious disease that affects cattle worldwide, and causes economic losses of $150-$300 million each year. Most of the losses stem from reduced growth, decreased milk production, costs of treatment, reduced value of infected animals and death loss.

M. bovis, which is the main cause of pinkeye, can be harbored in nasal or ocular secretions. “Asymptomatic carrier animals can shed the organism,” Randle explains. “The infection can also be spread from animal to animal through direct contact, aerosols and vectors.”

The first signs of the infection are tearing, followed by conjunctivitis. An animal could develop keratitis and corneal ulceration. The infection, which is quite painful to cattle, attaches to the cornea of the eye with pili and digests the eye surface with enzymes. It causes an ulceration of the cornea, and the animal to lose its sight.

While the animal is infected, the eye becomes quite sensitive to ultraviolet light, and environmental factors like dust, wind, weeds, pollens and sunlight. The cattle will become dirty-eyed and will squint. “The white portion of the eye becomes inflamed and reddened. Organisms attach to the cornea and bring fluid into the cornea, as well as drawing white blood cells in to fight the infection,” Randle explains. “They can eat through the entire layer of the cornea if the infection progresses enough, but that only occurs in a small percentage of cattle. The vast majority of animals will recover their sight from this disease.”

Once the healing process starts, Randle says cells come in to heal the eye. “The blood vessels infiltrate the cornea to clean up the debris,” he says. “Any tissue that is damaged will develop a scar, which may reduce in size until it is the size of a pinpoint, depending upon how bad the infection was.”

With summer fast approaching, cattlemen need to be diligent about monitoring their herds for pinkeye.

According to University of Nebraska extension veterinarian Dr. Richard Randle, pinkeye is a infectious disease that affects cattle worldwide, and causes economic losses of $150-$300 million each year. Most of the losses stem from reduced growth, decreased milk production, costs of treatment, reduced value of infected animals and death loss.

M. bovis, which is the main cause of pinkeye, can be harbored in nasal or ocular secretions. “Asymptomatic carrier animals can shed the organism,” Randle explains. “The infection can also be spread from animal to animal through direct contact, aerosols and vectors.”

The first signs of the infection are tearing, followed by conjunctivitis. An animal could develop keratitis and corneal ulceration. The infection, which is quite painful to cattle, attaches to the cornea of the eye with pili and digests the eye surface with enzymes. It causes an ulceration of the cornea, and the animal to lose its sight.

While the animal is infected, the eye becomes quite sensitive to ultraviolet light, and environmental factors like dust, wind, weeds, pollens and sunlight. The cattle will become dirty-eyed and will squint. “The white portion of the eye becomes inflamed and reddened. Organisms attach to the cornea and bring fluid into the cornea, as well as drawing white blood cells in to fight the infection,” Randle explains. “They can eat through the entire layer of the cornea if the infection progresses enough, but that only occurs in a small percentage of cattle. The vast majority of animals will recover their sight from this disease.”

Once the healing process starts, Randle says cells come in to heal the eye. “The blood vessels infiltrate the cornea to clean up the debris,” he says. “Any tissue that is damaged will develop a scar, which may reduce in size until it is the size of a pinpoint, depending upon how bad the infection was.”

With summer fast approaching, cattlemen need to be diligent about monitoring their herds for pinkeye.

According to University of Nebraska extension veterinarian Dr. Richard Randle, pinkeye is a infectious disease that affects cattle worldwide, and causes economic losses of $150-$300 million each year. Most of the losses stem from reduced growth, decreased milk production, costs of treatment, reduced value of infected animals and death loss.

M. bovis, which is the main cause of pinkeye, can be harbored in nasal or ocular secretions. “Asymptomatic carrier animals can shed the organism,” Randle explains. “The infection can also be spread from animal to animal through direct contact, aerosols and vectors.”

The first signs of the infection are tearing, followed by conjunctivitis. An animal could develop keratitis and corneal ulceration. The infection, which is quite painful to cattle, attaches to the cornea of the eye with pili and digests the eye surface with enzymes. It causes an ulceration of the cornea, and the animal to lose its sight.

While the animal is infected, the eye becomes quite sensitive to ultraviolet light, and environmental factors like dust, wind, weeds, pollens and sunlight. The cattle will become dirty-eyed and will squint. “The white portion of the eye becomes inflamed and reddened. Organisms attach to the cornea and bring fluid into the cornea, as well as drawing white blood cells in to fight the infection,” Randle explains. “They can eat through the entire layer of the cornea if the infection progresses enough, but that only occurs in a small percentage of cattle. The vast majority of animals will recover their sight from this disease.”

Once the healing process starts, Randle says cells come in to heal the eye. “The blood vessels infiltrate the cornea to clean up the debris,” he says. “Any tissue that is damaged will develop a scar, which may reduce in size until it is the size of a pinpoint, depending upon how bad the infection was.”

With summer fast approaching, cattlemen need to be diligent about monitoring their herds for pinkeye.

According to University of Nebraska extension veterinarian Dr. Richard Randle, pinkeye is a infectious disease that affects cattle worldwide, and causes economic losses of $150-$300 million each year. Most of the losses stem from reduced growth, decreased milk production, costs of treatment, reduced value of infected animals and death loss.

M. bovis, which is the main cause of pinkeye, can be harbored in nasal or ocular secretions. “Asymptomatic carrier animals can shed the organism,” Randle explains. “The infection can also be spread from animal to animal through direct contact, aerosols and vectors.”

The first signs of the infection are tearing, followed by conjunctivitis. An animal could develop keratitis and corneal ulceration. The infection, which is quite painful to cattle, attaches to the cornea of the eye with pili and digests the eye surface with enzymes. It causes an ulceration of the cornea, and the animal to lose its sight.

While the animal is infected, the eye becomes quite sensitive to ultraviolet light, and environmental factors like dust, wind, weeds, pollens and sunlight. The cattle will become dirty-eyed and will squint. “The white portion of the eye becomes inflamed and reddened. Organisms attach to the cornea and bring fluid into the cornea, as well as drawing white blood cells in to fight the infection,” Randle explains. “They can eat through the entire layer of the cornea if the infection progresses enough, but that only occurs in a small percentage of cattle. The vast majority of animals will recover their sight from this disease.”

Once the healing process starts, Randle says cells come in to heal the eye. “The blood vessels infiltrate the cornea to clean up the debris,” he says. “Any tissue that is damaged will develop a scar, which may reduce in size until it is the size of a pinpoint, depending upon how bad the infection was.”

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