Pre-Christmas Pinkeye warning for the Hunter

Hunter LLS District Vets are urging landholders to prepare now for a potential rise in pinkeye cases over the next few weeks.

Cases of pinkeye are spreading rapidly within the Hunter region. Ongoing hot weather causes cattle to bunch together under shade trees, creating perfect conditions for spread of pinkeye within a herd by close contact and flies.

District Vet Jim Kerr said now is the time to look at treatment options.

“Those who haven’t vaccinated against pinkeye might be wise to consider how and where they might source antibiotic eye ointment to treat affected animals if cases occur over the inconvenient Christmas/New Year period,” said Dr Kerr.

“These very effective ointments can only be obtained from veterinarians. Alternative antibiotic medication can generally be bought at produce merchants.

“Similarly, it might be prudent to consider where you might obtain pour-on fly repellants or insecticidal ear tags during the holiday break, as fly control is an important part of controlling a pinkeye outbreak.”

Pinkeye is a bacterial infection of the eye that causes inflammation and in severe cases, temporary or permanent blindness.

“Most cattle producers will be familiar with pinkeye but may not know how best to treat it and minimise it’s spread within a herd,” said Dr Kerr.

“Pinkeye is a painful debilitating condition that can severely affect animal productivity.

“For more information it is recommended producers contact their local vet or Hunter LLS on 1300 795 299.”

Further information on Pinkeye prevention, diagnosis and treatment is available here https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/103904/pinkeye-in-cattle.pdf or speak to your private or district veterinarian.

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