“Anaplasmosis and pinkeye are cattle problems that negatively impact the health, performance and profit potential of the cattle operation,” Regional MU Extension Livestock Field Specialist Patrick Davis said.

External parasite control may be helpful in reducing these problems.

Causative agents of pinkeye include bacterial agents Moraxella bovis, Moraxella ovis, Moraxella bovoculi and mycoplasma species.

Face flies transmit pinkeye causative agents in cattle.

“Reducing face flies potentially reduces pinkeye problems,” Davis said.

Some of the methods available include sprays, backrubbers, dust bags, feed additives, insecticide boluses and fly tags.

Anaplasma marginale is the bacteria that causes anaplasmosis in cattle. The external parasite vectors associated with transmission of this disease include horse flies and ticks. 

“Insecticidal and or natural horse fly control is hard to do in a commercial beef cattle operation,” Davis said.

Since insecticides have to be provided daily, the only practical way to provide insecticidal control on horse flies is using an automatic treadle-type sprayer where the cattle pass through it daily.

A natural way to control horse flies is to construct an umbrella or Manitoba-type horse fly trap.

This horse fly trap has shown measurable horse fly control for a few cattle.

However, for large herds you may need to construct several traps to reduce biting problems. 

“Ticks are also a vector involved in transmission of Anaplasmosis, so their control may be useful in reducing this problem,” Davis said.

Sprays, pour-ons and fly tag products are approved for tick control.

“Consulting a veterinarian to help advise and devise an external parasite control plan to help reduce problems with pinkeye and anaplasmosis is a good idea,” Davis said.

In addition, this relationship is needed to receive a veterinary feed directive to feed chlortetracycline to cattle, which is used to control anaplasmosis.

For more information on reducing the chances of pinkeye and anaplasmosis in cattle, contact your local MU Extension livestock field specialist.

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