Trichomoniasis (reproductive disease)
Trichomoniasis is a venereal disease which is caused by an organism called Tritrichomonas foetus. It is transmitted by mating infected bulls to susceptible cows. Similarly, an infected female may infect any bull that serves her.
Diagnosis through laboratory testing of vaginal discharge from cows and from preputial scrapings from bulls.
Clinical signs: embryonic losses, early term abortions, vaginal discharges.
While some reproductive diseases have highly visible consequences, such as late-term abortions, many work silently with the result unseen for weeks or months. Where, in the absence of a drought or a seasonal feed shortage situation, there has been a dramatic reduction in pregnancy rates, branding rate or weaning rates, or major changes in calving distribution patterns, then the producer should suspect that reproductive disease is present and arrange for veterinary investigations to be done. In the case of diseases like vibriosis and trichomoniasis, failure to investigate and act may mean that herd fertility could be lower in the following year as well.
Management strategy to prevent disease:
No commercial vaccine is available.
Heifer segregation and mating with young bulls is one possible control strategy.
Controlled mating, ie restricting mating to a short (3–6 month) period providing sexual rest of cows.
Cull infected bulls.
Reducing the age of bulls, bull control and seasonal mating also facilitates disease control.