Trichomoniasis is tricky in cattle breeding

Tonia Miller, Sandhills Veterinary Services, pulls a sample on a bull to test for trichomoniasis. (Journal photo by Jennifer Theurer.)

If you’ve already got the vet on your place to preg check cows, it might be wise to test any herd bulls or cleanup bulls for trichomoniasis while he or she is there.

Trichomoniasis is a venereal disease found in bulls and cows that can wreak havoc on a producer’s goals for their herd.

“(Cows infected with trichomoniasis) typically slough the pregnancy in the first trimester,” Dr. Tonia Miller, DVM, of Sandhills Veterinary Services, said.

Sloughing the pregnancy means that cow will come into heat again and if the bull is still she could end up open or short bred when veterinarian preg checks the herd. The worst case scenario is trichomoniasis causing an infection in the cow’s uterus. All of these outcomes cost producers money.

The veterinarian will perform the test on site and send the sample off to be tested. Results are generally back in a brief amount of time. Producers need to decide if waiting those few days to put the bull in are worth the risk of having cows come open and missing out on one or more healthy calves.

Producers can outsmart trichomoniasis by knowing bulls are clean before it causes an even bigger problem.

Jennifer Theurer can be reached at 620-227-1858 or [email protected].