Campaigns locally and nationwide focus on preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in humans. Now, Iowa cattle producers are being advised about S.T.D.’s in their animals. Extension veterinarian Richard Randall is warning about the spread of a dangerous cattle S.T.D. call trichomoniasis.
He says "trick" is a unique venereal disease in that it’s caused by a protozoa which causes reproductive upset and failure in cattle. "In recent months, there has been an apparent increase in the number of cases reported," Randall says. "It’s really one of these diseases that are affected by cattle movements as much as anything."
Randall says there is a vaccine for the disease, but it’s not completely effective. He says even with vaccination, the cattle can still become infected but the shot will limit the infection or shorten the duration and could potentially save more calves. Randall says, "Because of the nature of the bug, without doing some other management practices in association with that, we probably won’t maintain good, full protection by vaccination alone." Randall says one of the most difficult things about this disease, as with human S.T.D.’s, is that "trick" is hard to find without doing proper testing.
He says there are no outward signs of the disease. Randall says there are some things that cattle producers can do to make sure the spread of "trick" is stopped. He says the best way to protect the herd is to avoid commingling. The recommendation for replacements is to find virgin bulls and virgin heifers from reputable sources. With the up-tick in reported cases of trichomoniasis, he says all cattle producers in the region need to be on the lookout for this disease.