It’s the Ranch It Up Radio Show.  We dive into our discussions on Pinkeye and how to treat it.  We have lots of news you need to hear, cattle sale updates, cattle for sale, and sale reports, and this week’s top hand.  Join Jeff ‘Tigger’ Erhardt, the Boss Lady Rebecca Wanner aka ‘BEC’, and our crew as we bring you the latest in markets, news, and Western entertainment on this all-new episode of the Ranch It Up Radio Show.  Be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcasting app or on the Ranch It Up Radio Show YouTube Channel.

WEBSITE RIU S3 E159 Pinkeye Cattle Market News Jeff Erhardt Tigger Rebecca Wanner BEC jeff sarchet Zoetis


Some say that Pinkeye is just a necessary evil that we have to face in the cattle business, or is it?  We are joined again today by Dr. Jeff Sarchet with Zoetis to discuss how to treat pinkeye.  There are many options from the vaccine to treating the injected eye.  We share out winner of the Ranch It Up Radio Show Top Hand along with a market recap and updates from Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange and the Producers Livestock Marketing Association and cattle for sale on  Plus, the weekly market recap with Kirk Donsbach with Stone X Financial, Inc.  We have it all for you in this jam-packed episode of The Ranch It Up Radio Show!  As always Tigger & BEC and the Ranch It Up crew dive into the latest agriculture news, rodeo action not to miss, and cover the cattle markets.


Preventing traditional summer pinkeye in cattle involves eliminating the many eye irritations listed in this report. Identifying and taking steps to resolve physical hazards in your operation, including face fly control, may be more effective than pinkeye vaccinations. Offer protection from the sunlight by providing adequately sized shade and allow cattle to graze at night when face flies are not active. Make sure mineral consumption is adequate months before the pinkeye season. Selenium, copper, and zinc are vital for maintaining eye health. Be vigilant and immediately isolate the first case of pinkeye. Seek a veterinary diagnosis. Develop a treatment and prevention plan with input from your veterinarian.


The scientific name for pinkeye is infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK). It is a disease of cornea (eye surface) and the conjunctiva (eyelids). IBK is reported as the most common cause of eye disease in all breeding females and calves more than three weeks old. It is second only to calf scours, the most prevalent condition affecting pre-weaned calves (Dewell).

According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the first clinical signs of any eye irritation, including IBK, is often tearing, tear staining, and eyelid squinting. Tearing often increases as the pinkeye progresses. IBK may suddenly appear as an opaque spot on the cornea, making early recognition difficult. Conjunctivitis is sometimes seen but not in every case. Corneal ulceration may occur as pinkeye progresses.

Some cases of IBK spontaneously resolve. Others result in severe damage to the cornea and blindness. IBK is costly and labor intense to treat. Suffering cattle have decreased appetite because of pain or decreased vision and the inability to locate food and water. Cattle with scarred or ‘blue’ eyes with prolapsed corneas, or blind cattle have reduced value at the market.


Normal eyes have adequate defense mechanisms to prevent infection and subsequent corneal ulceration. Any form of eye irritation allows pathogens to penetrate the cornea:

  • Physical trauma from aggression between animals, overcrowded bunks, self-feeders; handling during transport; abrasive bedding, grazing close to field margins where thorns, barbed wire and tufts of dry stalks of grass can scratch the cornea; rust/corrosion and the sharp edges from galvanized handling systems and penning; tail switching especially when crowded together under shade

  • Blowing dust and sand, weed seeds/chaff

  • Face flies

  • UV irradiation (bright sunlight) causes cell damage to the conjunctiva and cornea

  • Chemical trauma, i.e. fresh nitrogen on pasture

Other IBK associated factors include stress from shipping, processing, and insects which can all be immunosuppressive. Younger cattle are more susceptible to IBK than are older cattle. Cattle with white faces,except Brahman cattle, appear to have a higher incidence of IBK. Mineral deficiencies involving selenium, copper and zinc have been diagnosed in recurrent IBK herd outbreaks.


The eye has a limited number of ways to respond to disease or injury; clinical signs look the same for a variety of reasons. Since the 1970’s, Moraxilla bovis is accepted as the most common cause of traditional IBK (‘summer pinkeye’). M. bovis is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium with pili that allows them to attach to eye surface. M. bovis produces a toxin and hemolysin which play roles in pathogenicity. M. bovis can be isolated from normal eyes; asymptomatic carriers reside in herds.

Other Moraxella species were identified as causing IBK, the first being Moraxilla ovisMoraxilla bovoculi was next characterized in 2007 using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostics. Since 2007, it has become clear that the vast majority of M. ovis recovered from bovine eyes prior to the ability to identify M. bovoculi would now be reclassified as M. bovoculi.

According to the 2010 Iowa State University study conducted by Connor et al, M. bovoculi could be isolated with or without M. bovis from calves with IBK. Moraxella bovoculi and bovis were more frequently recovered from eyes with IBK lesions than unaffected eyes.

M. bovoculi is often associated with ‘winter pinkeye’. Winter pinkeye is present year-round and occurs in stabled cattle. It does not appear to need physical trauma, or summer flies and UV light often associated with traditional ‘summer pinkeye’. Carrier animals may exist in the herd, with M. bovoculi residing in eyes, nasal passages, and vaginal tissues.

Other bacteria isolated from IBK include Mycoplasma and other respiratory pathogens and Listeria monocytogenes (associated with silage feeding, called ‘silage eye’). Viral infections including IBR, BVD and the herpes virus which causes malignant catarrhal fever may also result in eye lesions. Abnormal growths involving the eye, such as squamous cell carcinoma, may also lead to eye injury. A veterinary exam is needed to accurately diagnose the cause of clinical signs.


We are starting a new feature here on the Ranch It Up Radio Show.  Each week a particular operation, business, person, outfit, bull, dog, it does not matter, is highlighted as Tigger & BEC approved, and they are the Top Hand of the Week.  You can nominate any operation just send us an email of who or what you are nominating and why you are nominating.  Today our Top Hand goes to the popular Facebook Group, Cattle Feeders, Stockers, Cow/Calf Discussion!

Cattle Feeders, Stockers, Cow/Calf Discussion

We use this group a lot to gauge what various people are asking for the cattle that they have for sale, especially those bred females.  A tool in the toolbox and this week’s Top Hand. 


  • NCBA Blasts USDA’s Approval fo Paraguayan Beef



Jeff Sarchet, DVM



Producers Livestock Marketing Association

Salina, Utah


Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange

Dickinson, ND


Shaye Koester

Casual Cattle Conversation


Kirk Donsbach: Stone X Financial  


Mark Van Zee 

Livestock Market, Equine Market, Auction Time




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