Infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) or more commonly known as Pinkeye is the most common and widely seen disease of the eye in cattle and the bacterial infection is caused by Moraxella bovis. Pinkeye spreads quickly, is quite infectious, lasts from a few days to several weeks, and one or both eyes may be affected. Plant awns, face flies, bright sunlight, dry & dusty conditions and shipping stress are all risk factors associated with pinkeye. Most corneal ulcers will heal without loss of vision, but corneal rupture and blindness can occur in severe cases. There are similarities in the diagnosis of IBR and pinkeye so consultation with your veterinarian may be warranted.
Prevention and treatment strategies include separation of affected animals and providing shade or eye patches if possible. Insecticide ear tags will help reduce transmission of infections by flies. A good mineral program with emphasis on Zinc, Copper, Iodine, Selenium & Vitamin E will also produce a stronger immune system to enable cattle to better fend off infections. Consult your veterinarian regarding IBK vaccination and treatment with penicillin injections in the eye area and treatment with long acting oxytetracycline.
*For more information, please contact Craig at (403)-894-3147