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Treating calves for Pink Eye

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

This morning we have been treating Pink Eye in our calves. Pink Eye is a highly contagious bacterial infection. If left untreated it can affect up to 85% of the mob. The bacteria releases a toxin which causes aggressive inflammation of the eye and can lead to short and sometimes long term blindness.

It is a painful condition and the calves are sensitive to UV light, so their grazing time decreases and they lose weight.

A few years ago we had severe problems with Pink Eye in our calves. We spent far too many hours in the yards treating eyes and went through far too many antibiotics. Scroll through the photos below to check out the treatment process.

Now we vaccinate all the calves when they arrive on our farm in the Spring. Like all vaccines, it is not 100% effective but we have noticed a significant reduction in the number of calves we need to treat, which is a fantastic result.

When we see calves with Pink Eye, we separate them from their mob and keep them close to the house in a ‘sick paddock’. We treat them with a long acting Penicillin based eye cream and they are given extra feed. Being away from the big mob takes the pressure off them so they can get better. Sometimes they have other infections that have caused them to be more susceptible to Pink Eye, so we treat those conditions also.

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