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Pink Eye Season and RVVC’s Autogenous Pink Eye Vaccine -June 2021

Pink Eye Season and RVVC’s Autogenous Pink Eye Vaccine

Mother nature can’t seem to quite make up her mind about staying in winter and spring or moving into summer but before we all know it, all of the bugs will be back including large populations of flies. With flies and summer comes pink eye for those that pasture many of their animals. If you haven’t already, it’s important to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of your animals developing pink eye. Things like fly tags, fly repellant applicators, using fly reduction products either for the animals or in the environment, providing plenty of shady areas for cattle to rest. As the summer moves on not over-pasturing and letting too much dirt get exposed to be blown around or, on the opposite end, not letting grasses get too tall so that as cattle graze the grass blades knick the eyes as the walk through.

Another important, and cheap prevention option, is vaccination. If you haven’t already, you should get your cattle vaccinated against pink eye. No matter the product that you use be sure to follow the label directions for dosing to get full protection into your animals. If the bottle says two doses, be sure to run your animals through again for the second dose in the time frame listed on the label.

This year, River Valley Vet has worked with another area veterinary clinic, and some local farms that have dealt with chronic pink eye issues to develop an autogenous pink eye vaccine; a vaccine for pink eye specific to this area of the state and country. While this is the first year that we have used and offered this vaccine, the clients that have had chronic year-round pink eye issues who have started using this vaccine have seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of pink eye cases they have been treating.

As mentioned, this is our first year with this vaccine and we have a very limited supply available. Most of the supply that we’ve received so far is already spoken for but a few doses are still available. If you’re interested in trying this vaccine, contact the clinic for availability. We would need to get your premises ID number (if we don’t already have it) for where your animals are located in order to get you the vaccine. If we don’t have any vaccine available for you this year, let us know if you’d be interested in trying some for you herd next year so we can plan ahead for ordering.

We still carry our usual commercial brands of pink eye vaccine for use as well. However, if you routinely use pink eye vaccine every year and follow the label for dosing and other prevention measures and still get a few cases of pink eye that pop up or have cases that occur during non-typical times of the year, contact us right away! We can collect samples from the affected animals and have them sent in for culturing and typing. Depending on the strain of your pink eye causing agent, we may be able to use your farm’s strains of pink eye in our vaccine for the following year to not only help protect your animals but maybe even your neighbor’s animals as well.

For questions about how to get vaccine, sampling your pink eye cases, costs of testing or the vaccine, give us a call at 608-546-4911.

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