Recently in southwest Missouri we have seen an increase in number of herds affected with Trichomoniasis. This disease is a reproductive nightmare. It can be devastating to the owner. Reducing the calf crop and eliminating any significant income for that herd.
As of September 2012, the MO Department of Agriculture website reported the highest incidence in Polk County (51 cases), Vernon County (40), and Barry County (26). Remember that southwest Missouri has the highest population of cattle in the state. Therefore, we would expect higher incidents in that area.
Controlling this disease is a challenge. Currently the MDA requires a quarantine of positive tested bulls and their herd of origin. All non-virgin bulls and all bulls greater than 24 months of age must be tested when sold, leased, traded or bartered by regulations of MDA. Animals exempt from testing include bulls going to slaughter, buffalo and bison, exotic bovine, and bulls younger than 24 months old.
All positive tested bulls must go to slaughter. Bulls within the quarantined herd may be released with two negative tests at least a week apart.
If cows within the quarantined herd are 120 days pregnant, confirmed by pregnancy exam performed by a licensed veterinarian, or with calf at side and with no known exposure to the affected bull will be released from quarantine. Cows 120 days pregnant or less remain quarantined and isolated from any bull.
Trich can result in 80-90 percent calf crop reduction. Most cows will clear themselves of the organism, however, carriers can occur. All animals in an infected herd can go to slaughter. Working with your veterinarian is essential in recovery from this disease when it enters herd.
Frankie Bowers, DVM, MS practices at Animal Clinic of the Ozarks in Ozark, Mo.