Pink eye is commonly caused by a bacteria called Moraxella bovis. There is currently a trivalent vaccine that has been released to help prevent disease. The bacteria commonly invades the eye and causes ulceration of the eye and without treatment cows can become completely blind. The bacteria is spread easily by Flies, dust, grass and close contact.
Prevention: Preventative tactics can include isolating affected animals, maintaining shorter pastures to avoid damage to the eye from grass seeds, limiting yarding during very dry dusty periods and implementing vaccination.
Treatment: there are a number of options for the treatment of Pink Eye
1) Antibacterial creams available from the clinic can control most low grade infections
2) Subconjunctival Injections: These must be administered by a veterinarian and involve placing an injection of an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory in the tissues surrounding the eye
3) Patches: Patches may be used in some cases to limit further damage by sunlight/ dust etc.
It is important to note that if treatment is not administered early permanent scarring and loss of vision can occur.