Trichomoniasis is commonly referred to as trich. This is found in the reproductive tract of cows and bulls. Infected cattle can lead to major losses due to infertility, low pregnancy rates, an extended calving season, and abortions. It can be very costly to eradicate from a herd.
Trich is transmitted from an infected bull to the cow’s reproductive tract during breeding and then migrates to the uterus. Infected cows will experience infertility and early embryonic death, causing the cow to come back to heat and leading to poor pregnancy rates and extended breeding season.
The majority of infected cows will clear the infection if given sexual rest for 120 to 150 days. Most cows will eventually settle, but their immunity to the disease is weak.
Once a bull is infected, they are infected for life. Trich typically gets introduced into a herd by the introduction of one infected animal and it’s usually a bull.
Two weeks of sexual rest is needed before testing the bull at the livestock auction. This allows the level to go back up to a trusted detectable level. We have a vet at the barn test for this when a bull is guaranteed to go home.
Currently, there is no approved treatment for infected cattle but there are several ways to protect your herd.
- When purchasing bulls for sale, make sure they are virgins or have the bull trich tested before taking it home. It’s best to quarantine the bull until you get the results back.
- If you suspect an issue in your herd, test your bull. Any bull that tests positive must be sold for slaughter only.
- Keep your neighbor’s bull out of your property. Keep your fences in good condition.
- Pregnancy check cows in a timely matter after breeding season to identify the problem earlier rather than later.
This disease has the potential to be devastating to your herd and we take it seriously here at the sale barn.