Trichomoniasis Causes Early Embryonic Death, Abortions & Infertility
Tritrichomonas foetus, a protozoan, causes early embryonic death, abortions, and infertility in beef herds. The disease has been of routine concern for a number of years in many western states. In the last few years, there have been more cases in Kansas and producers should be aware of the disease and the management implications.
Definitive diagnosis requires culture and identification of the organism from an animal in the herd. In infected herds, ranchers may not notice any indications of a problem until the time of pregnancy examination when an increased number of open cows are detected. If the breeding season is long (more than 90 days) the astute rancher may notice an increased number of cows cycling at the end of the breeding season. The number of cows that calve can be reduced by 20% to 40% and the average calving date will be later and the calving season will be spread out longer than in non-infected herds. Proper herd management techniques are necessary to limit losses due to the disease in future years.