Control trich before it controls your herd

Trichomoniasis is an infectious organism and there is not treatment for the problem, as well as no lasting immunity, which is why it is so important to control the problem if found in a herd.

Nevada State Veterinarian J.J. Goicoechea said no producer can afford to have a strung-out calving season, open cows or weak or stillborn calves. Testing is the best way to know the status of a herd.

Goicoechea spoke during an educational session at the 25th annual Cattlemen’s College in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Bulls should all be tested. The trich organism survives in the sheath of infected bulls and can be found clitoral tissue of cows for a short amount of time,” said Goicoechea.

While there is a vaccine available, he said it is not a silver bullet because animals cannot get immunity from the vaccine. A cow can abort the calf but won’t always learn herself of the organisms quickly.

“Producers have to get those open cows out of their herds and they need to be sold to slaughter. Positive trich bulls have to be culled from the herds,” he said. “If you ever get trich in your herd, you will never not test for it. It can truly be devastating.”

Goicoechea says that it is also important to know why your cows are open before culling them because other problems could be present.

All bulls should be tested 30 to 45 days after breeding season because that is when the organisms would still be high in the sheath.

“There are different tests that can be used, but you must remember the results are only as good as the samples taken. Samples should be kept warm, but not in sunlight and they should be delivered to the lab for analysis as soon as possible,” said Goicoechea.

Working with your herd veterinarian is the best way to get a plan for testing and make decisions on how to control any problems that might arise.