Talk to your veterinarian; test your herd

News
Jan 13, 2012
by WLJ
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The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) reminds cattle owners to test their herd for bovine trichomoniasis.

“Testing and monitoring herds for trichomoniasis is the best method of controlling this infection,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr. “Cattle owners should talk to their veterinarian to determine the best management practices for their herd.”

• As of Dec. 27, 2011, there are currently three positive “trich” locations in Colorado (Custer, Otero, and Las Animas counties).

• So far this year, there have been 13 positive trich cases in eight Colorado counties: Baca, Bent, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, La Plata, Las Animas and Otero.

• A map detailing trichomoniasis sample submissions by county and the prevalence for trichomoniasispositive counties can be found at www.colorado. gov/ag.

“The department has seen a decrease in the number of positive trich cases and is encouraged by these numbers; this shows that the livestock industry and the CDA mitigation efforts have been working,” continued Roehr, “but this doesn’t mean ranchers should decrease their testing rates. It is important to remember that this in fection does not respect county lines.”

“Trich” is a costly, yet preventable, infection that can affect dairy and beef cattle. If bulls become infected, the percentage of open cows can increase from 5 to 30 percent.

Trich is a venereal disease of cattle caused by Trichomonas foetus (T. Foetus). The T. foetus infection causes fertility problems, such as early embryonic death or abortion of the calf, and is asymptomatic in bulls.

Colorado trich regulations require all non-virgin bulls changing ownership or being transported into Colorado be tested for T. foetus unless the animal is going to slaughter. Bulls on public land grazing permits or with grazing associations must also be tested prior to turnout.

Several diagnostic laboratories across the state offer trich testing; samples must be taken by an accredited veterinarian. — WLJ

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