The final key to preventing pinkeye is good pasture management. This may include pasture rotation, pasture mowing, shaded areas and dust control. Face flies are the primary means by which pinkeye bacteria are deposited around the eyes. Excessive tearing caused by irritated eyes draws the face flies to feed on this mucus. Preventing irritated eyes is an important factor in face fly control.
Pasture mowing may be necessary when tall grass is present. Tall plants and their seed pods can rub against the eye causing irritation which in turn produces excessive eye mucus. Attention to the condition of the pasture and managing the troubled areas with mowing and weed reduction can help reduce pinkeye outbreaks.
Providing natural or man-made shade for your herd will also be a positive step. UV light from the sun can sensitize the eye, causing inflammation and an increased susceptibility to the pinkeye bacteria. This is a special concern for white-faced cattle because of the lack of pigmentation around the eye.
Other grazing situations can also play a significant role in eye irritation. Forage sorghums, brush, and weeds are able to scratch and rub against the eyes as the animal passes. These plants also produce chaff and pollen which blow into the animal’s eyes. A hay shelf created by eating just the center of a round bale leaves hanging stems that can scratch the eyes. Overhead feeders can create the same situation, especially when the hay contains cheat grass.
These 4 Key steps will provide you with the best opportunity to prevent a pinkeye outbreak in your herd. If you have questions about product options, please call one of our experienced veterinarians. 1-800-468-0059