The Blind Eye in Cattle

June 29, 2010
posted by Trh62

What causes a bull or a cow to go blind?  It is not always caused by an injury; it can be caused by allergies or particles in the air that irritate and by irritation of flies and insects.  If not treated quickly can cause blindness. 

I am talking about a form of Pink – eye, an acute contagious conjunctivitis marked by redness of the eyeball.  The symptoms are redness and swelling of the eye and some can even get ulcerated spots on their eyes.  This actually causes temporary blindness.  They will run into fences and walk in circles due to confusion.  They can get lost from the herd and if cornered can become dangerous due to lack of sight and fear of the unknown.

This particular form must be treated medically by an antibiotic spray (that you can purchase from you local veterinary) given with an antibiotic injection.  We use LA – 300 Antibiotic (also purchased from vet), this is one livestock medicinal item we keep on hand in our medical and farm supplies.  Both of these, the spray and the injection, given together will help your animal heal and recover quickly with less risk of total blindness.  Most will recover with 100% of their vision restored but, there may be some that will not fully regain their eyesight back at 100%.  Depending on how long they had the infection and how severe the infection will determine what damage was caused.

It is most imp0rtant to treat your cattle and livestock as soon as you notice any signs of irritation or redness of the eyes.  It does happen to the best of us; we work the farm; planting fields, away from the livestock , maybe at a second j0b and do not notice the changes right away.  They, also, do not just creep up overnight either, so to speak, so it is no wonder that it can get away from us, at any given time.  We just have to do the best we can and as soon as we notice a problem; we tackle it head on and give it our full attention and care.

There is not one single thing that can prevent this particular infection from occuring in your livestock but as a preventative measure, keep your pastures cut low enough during the growing season so that your livestock are not fighting the tops of the grasses and weeds to feed on the grass available to them.  As a preference, we try to keep ours cut no shorter than ankle length when we mow the pastures.  This allows the grass to contiunue its growth and kills most of the weeds or, at least, causes them to grow at a slower pace allowing the cattle enough grass to eat during the spring, summer and fall seasons.

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