Rain Brings Oklahoma Ranchers More Challenges with Flies and PinkeyeFri, 14 Aug 2015 16:18:37 CDT
Oklahoma ranchers are see more pinkeye this year than normal. Pink eye is a bacterial infection that causes irritation in the eyes of cattle and other livestock. State Veterinarian Dr. Rod Hall said pinkeye causes an animal’s eye to water, which can lead to the infection being transmitted to other animals.
“Flies can get on the skin below eyes, where the tears carried the bacteria and then they can go land on another animal,” Hall said.
Pinkeye seems to be more prevalent from time to time. The wet spring and summer across much of the state has lead to more pinkeye cases this year. The wet weather causes higher than normal fly populations and Dr. Hall said having more flies can spread the infection.
Grass conditions have been better than average this summer. By this time of year, the grass resources begin to deteriorate. Dr. Hall said cattle become pickier as the taller grass gets tough and it becomes less appealing to cattle, so cattle will often graze closer to the ground eating the younger, tenderer grass.
“As they push their heads through the seed heads of those grass, it can cause irritation,” Hall said. “Any irritation then to the eyes, makes it easier for that bacteria to get a hold and get started and cause the infection.”
Pinkeye can also be transmitted by animals sharing a bale of hay. There are several strains of that bacteria. Hall said that’s why some commercial vaccines might not work against certain strains of the bacteria.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Dr. Hall. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
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