Why are antibiotics needed?

June 22, 2021

Red Angus Nebraska

This is why antibiotics are needed.

 

This cow received an injury to her eye, likely from the grazing and getting poked in the eye by a grass seed (as you can see in the photo there are many). While checking cows and calves, I noticed she was holding her eye closed and it was watering. Upon closer look, I could see that it wasn't cloudy, she was just holding it shut. I made a note of her tag number to make sure we found her the next time and continued checking the rest of the herd. The hope was that she got something in her eye and would feel better the next time I checked the group. 24 hours later, her eye was turning white. She has PinkeyePinkeye, or infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis, is one of the most common wounds and diseases that is a highly contagious bacterial infection. Pinkeye can spread like wildfire through a herd. It is extremely hard to get under control when it starts spreading. How does it spread? Pinkeye spreads from close contact as well as face flies. Face flies feed on the tears produced by cattle, every time a fly moves from one animal to another it shares the bacteria and more animals become infected.
 
This cow was brought into the chute and administered a dose of antibiotics as well as a glued on eye patch. The antibiotic will help heal the eye and stop the bacterial infection from potentially blinding her. The patch that was placed on her eye is made out of fabric that will keep flies away as well as give her eye protection from the sun to heal. 
 
Antibiotics are used on our ranch when animals are sick or injured. Just like this cow shown in the picture above. If she was not treated, there is a very good chance she would have gone blind in that eye. She would have then continued to infect the other cows and calves in the herd who could have potentially gone blind as well or have extreme vision damage to their eye(s). 
 
We use antibiotics only when needed, according to the label instructions, and always consult with our veterinarian when needed. Animal health is extremely important to us and it is our job to take care of our herd. 
 

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