Treatments for Diseases & Disorders
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Conditions listed currently cover: Pinkeye and Coccidiosis. Very specific treatments are listed below the article about the condition and a general antibiotic list is found as a list at the very of this section.
Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), more commonly known as pinkeye, is a contagious inflammation of the eye. In severe cases the cornea can rupture and cause permanent blindness. The bacteria, Moraxella bovis is the most common cause. M. bovis being present in the eye does not cause pinkeye. There must be some form of irritation from a scrape on the cornea that allows the bacteria to start an infection. The condition is spread mostly by face flies moving from infected animals to healthy animals. M. bovis only lives for 3 hours on a house fly, but can last as long as 3 days on the feet of a face fly. Surfaces touched by infected animals are believed to spread the condition as well. Tall grass and weeds are a common vector for pinkeye. Although not as common a culprit, Moraxella bovoculi also causes pinkeye. It is thought to be the most common agent causing winter pinkeye. Just as a note, pinkeye can be confused with Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR).
When the conditions are correct for a pinkeye bacteria to cause infection, it will take 3-5 days before the tell tale signs appear, when they do, the animal may begin to tear, squint, blink, close the eye or seek shade to avoid the pain caused by sunlight. Later ulcers can develop. The ulceration will protrude from the eye as a white spot, then the eye will become cloudy. There may form a red border around the ulceration. The ulcer bulges from white blood cells gathering to kill the bacteria. After this point, about 14-16 days in, the eye usually heals, taking about 8 weeks. In the worst cases the eyeball ruptures. Rupture usually occurs when the eye is hit by an external object while the eye is under intensive swelling. Ulcers from pinkeye are almost always in the center of the eye, while physical eye injuries are often off center.
Treatment for M. bovis include the following antibiotics: penicillin, oxytetracycline (LA200®), sulfonamides, florfenicol (Nuflor®), tilmicosin (Micotil®), and tulathromycin (Draxxin®). A list of available antibiotics can be found in the list at end of this section on Treatments for Diseases & Disorders. Intramuscular injection (IM) of antibiotic will allow the antibiotic to move through the blood stream into the eye. Eye injections can be more effective and longer lasting, lasting roughly 2 to 3 days. The most common eye injection is penicillin mixed with dexamethasone, a steroid used to reduce swelling. Topical antibiotics including sprays, powders, and ointments can be most effective when used at least twice daily for 3-5 consecutive days. Most producers choose to use either an eye injection or a combination of topical and an IM antibiotic. Eye patches over treated eyes can help the eye heal by keeping out sunlight, flies, and foreign matter and prevent the bacteria from spreading to unaffected animals. Patches will fall off after the eye has had time to heal.
Healthy animals can be carriers of M. bovis and be the source of new outbreaks. Carriers will not spread the bacteria nearly as much as infected animals. When an infected animal recovers, it will have some immunity to M. bovis, but it will last only a short duration, less than 1 year. There are several strains of the bacteria with several subtypes for each strain. Immunity is specific for each strain. Many vaccines and combinations are available for Moraxella bovis. Vaccines for Moraxella bovoculi are expected to hit general distribution in 2017 or 2018.
Producer strategies to prevent pinkeye include fly control (please see: Fly & Insect Control) , vaccines (can be found in the list here: Cattle Vaccines), clipping pastures, and avoiding other types of stress, especially eye stress. Producers also try to build a strong immune system using minerals (please see: Beef Blocks & Mineral), particularly vitamin A that helps mucus membranes like those in the eye. Vaccinating for the viral IBR and BVD also strengthen the immune system because animals will not be actively fighting these often subclinical conditions when pinkeye stress occurs. Pinkeye's peak season is from July to August. Another stress that gets little attention is caused by lactation. The highest nutritional demand occurs 2 months after calving so the pinkeye danger zone from July to August will be the worst for cows that had their calf in April and May. Nutritional supplements can help reduce stress on lactating cattle if pastures are not adequate. Calves are more susceptible to pinkeye than adults. Calves generally get the infection after 3 months of age, or the period where calves are developing their own immunity. Low stress practices in July and August can help prevent pinkeye. Like most health conditions, pinkeye infections will reduce milk production in brood cows and rate of gain directly and indirectly in calves.
For more information about fly control, please see: Fly & Insect Control
For more about M. bovoculi, see this link: addisonlabs.com/product/moraxella-bovoculi/
You maybe interested in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIaQuUpUqPM
Coccidiosis is known for causing bloody scours. The manure has variability in color, but it will not be a normal color. The fresh red blood occurs when the intestine liner ruptures towards the end of the G.I. tract. If the rupture occurs further up the tract, the manure will have a black or a dark grey color where the blood has been partially digested. Cattle will scour and can often be seen straining to have a have a bowel movement even though one may not occur. The urge is caused by discomfort. Discomfort can also cause animals to hunch their back as if from a belly ache.
Coccidia is a protozoa that is natural to the environment. It lives in the soil an is carried at low levels by cattle. 16 days after coccidia is ingested, eggs are put into the intestinal wall. Rupture occurs on day 18 and 19 creating diarrhea (scours) and blood in the feces. On day 21 the oocysts exit with manure. The oocysts will go to the ground. Oocysts will need 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit and moisture to become infective. When its hot and dry it prevents infection. Below 20 degrees Fahrenheit the oocysts will die, but can survive winter from manure on the animals hair coats and can be ingested when animals lick and groom each other. Coccidia reproduce at a very high rate and cattle kept in confinement can reach a clinical threshold quickly. That is why having the animals move to different areas greatly helps to keep the protozoa at a controllable level. Outbreaks coccidiosis usually are detected 21 days after a stressful event such as extreme weather, handling, and especially weaning.
Coccidiosis is in the top 5 highest diseases responsible for economic loss in the beef industry, costing $100 million annually. Testing has been done using daily preventative levels of coccidiostats returning higher weaning weights than control groups even when the control groups show no signs of sickness. Preventative drugs include: Bovatec® (lasalocid sodium), Rumensin® (monensin), Deccox® (decoquinate), Southern States Amprovine Crumbles 1.25% (amprolium), Corid® (amprolium), Di-Methox® (sulfadimethoxine), Albon® (sulfadimethoxine).
Bovatec®, Rumensin®, and Deccox® are most often seen as feed additives. Sulfadimethoxine products, Di-Methox® and Albon® are labeled for cattle but not for coccidiosis in cattle. Sulfadimethoxine can be labeled for coccidiosis in poultry. Another sulfur drug, Sulfamethazine in a slow release form may have an Rx label for coccidiosis, but is not typically labeled so over the counter. Sulfadimethoxine generally gets more attention than sulfamethazine for coccidia. Amprolium among others can be used for the treatment of coccidiosis but they have little effect in the late stages, instead they stop the second wave which can be fatal. Amprolium is the most popular treatment for coccidiosis. In addition, using an antibiotic to prevent a secondary bacterial infection can be a good practice. It could be economically beneficial to treat all of the animals in the group rather than just the sick ones, to prevent healthy and subclinical animals from becoming sick and to reduce the protozoa population that could potentially re-infect the animals. Clinically sick animals should be monitored for dehydration and electrolytes administered as needed.
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You may be interest in this Dr. Pol video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kjmi1PC36A