The swelling (inflammation) or infection of the membrane lining the eyelids. Pink
eye is a common term used to describe many different diseases affecting the eyes
of animals. It is an infectious and contagious bacterial disease of many animals
including goats. It can be caused by several different microorganisms. Two of those
microorganisms are Chlamydia psittaci ovis and Mycoplasma conjunctivae. The Chlamydia
organism is the same organism that can cause abortions in does. The pink eye infection
can be contagious to people so be careful when handling animals with this disease.
Pink eye generally will spread from a single animals to many others in your herd
Spreading occurs from direct contact between each other or through flies or dust
that can carry the bacteria to the eye. The condition is painful and may affect just
one eye or both. Whatever causes the problem, the symptoms are similar. Those symptoms
an aversion to bright sunlight
the side of the face below the eye may be wet from tearing
the membranes of the eye appear red and inflamed
the eyes become cloudy or opaque
an ulcer may develop.
can cause temporary blindness or permanent blindness in severe cases.
Affected animals should be isolated from the rest of the herd to prevent the spread
of the disease to other animals. Consider isolating them in a clean, dry, shady place.
Pink eye is usually treated with any number of antibiotics that are injected into
the body or placed directly in the eye. The most common treatment is to apply terramycin
ointment to the affected eye(s) two to four times per day. Some veterinarians recommend
the use of intramammary mastitis tubes suchas as "Today" for the treatment of pink
eye. As with the terramycin ointment, the antibiotic is applied directly to the eye.
Here is an ointment we have used successfully. Triple Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment
-Triple Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment is a combination of three antibiotics: Neomycin,
Polymyxin B, and Bacitracin. It is used to treat bacterial infections of the eyes
and eyelids. We do not use eye medication that is a spray or powder. They are more
irritating to the already inflamed eye. The animal's face should be cleaned and
the debris around the eye should be removed before applying the medicine. If the
eye looks swollen, that can be related to inflammation and we will give Banamine
injections in addition to the other treatments.
When we have an animal that is having cloudy eyes, we first treat with the ointment
after putting drops of penicillin or Biomycin in the eye. If the clouding of the
eye does not start clearing up in a day or two, we also start giving injections of
the Biomycin under the skin once a day. If that does not seem to be helping, we move
to a stronger antibiotic like Nuflor.
Despite intensive efforts, treatment may have little effect on the course or severity
of the disease. Pink eye is similar to Sore Mouth) in that the disease is usually
self-limiting and the majority of affected animals will clear up without treatment,
usually in a week to 10 days. Severely affected animals may take longer to recover.
Recovered animals have resistance for varying lengths of time. It is possible for
them to become reinfected, as acquired immunity is not strong or long-lasting.