Every rancher has probably been in the situation of either calling a neighbor to tell him his cattle are in your pasture or asking if he has seen your cattle. We have all heard the saying, "It's 10:00 p.m.; do you know where your children are?" Maybe we need to have a similar saying for the cattle business: "It's Monday, do you know where your cattle are?" or "Do you know who your cows are with?" Is that expensive bull that you bought last year visiting the neighbor's cows that he picked up at the sale barn? Are those cows carrying something that you don't want your bull to bring home? These are all valid questions you should think about.

One of the diseases you don't want your bull to get, let alone to bring home to your cows, is trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis, or "trich," is a cattle venereal disease caused by the protozoa Tritrichomonas foetus. Trich is carried by the bull. Once infected, he will always have it and will show no outward signs of disease. There are no approved treatments or vaccines for bulls.

In cows, trichomoniasis may be revealed by abortions, extended breeding season or, in controlled breeding seasons, a reduced calf crop. Recently infected cows may exhibit a mild white, sticky discharge from the vulva, which can last up to two months. Infected cows usually abort within 10 days of infection. Cows will usually clear up in four to five months if they have no breeding activity. Cows can be vaccinated with a moderate degree of success, but the cost is about $3-$6 per head annually.

This disease has found its way south and east in the past few years. Currently, 16 states have developed regulations for trichomoniasis. Trich has made the news most recently in Louisiana and Texas, which have implemented new regulations for the disease.

To read the entire article for facts and prevention tips on trichomoniasis, link to The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.