Another case of bovine trichomoniasis has been found in Iowa.
The venereal disease of cattle is called “trich” for short.
The first known case of the disease in the state was found in two bulls in southwest Iowa in May. The latest report comes from a cattle herd in south-central Iowa, where five of six bulls tested positive for trich earlier this month.
Iowa State University Extension beef veterinarian Dr. Grant Dewell says, in both cases, the bulls spread the disease to the cows, causing infertility and high open rates.
“Typically, they’ve had a fairly normal pregnancy rate,” Dewell says, “but (in one herd), it was down to less than 80 percent calving rate this year. The second herd that just came up positive only had about 30 percent of their cows get pregnant.
“So it’s one of those situations where you’ve basically lost a breeding season on those cattle.”
Dewell says testing is the only way to confirm trich. And, going forward, he says it’s important that producers know where breeding stock is coming from and the possible health issues in those herds.
“We need to be really on the ball here to make sure that we’re testing herds that are at risk,” he says. “Producers shouldn’t buy open cows in the next few years and be very careful on their new bulls—either buy virgin bulls or have those bulls tested prior to the breeding season.”
The Iowa Department of Agriculture stresses that trich is a reportable disease in Iowa. Once it is identified, the department issues an order of quarantine for that facility. The quarantine remains in place until further testing confirms the disease is no longer present in the herd.