Bovine Trichomoniasis confirmed in a beef herd

Farm Forum

PIERRE, S.D. – Bovine Trichomoniasis (Trich) has recently been identified in a Tripp County beef herd. Trich is a costly reproductive disease of cattle.

The cause of the disease is a protozoan parasite that lives in the reproductive tract of the cow and bull and is physically transmitted during breeding. A cow that is infected during breeding may become pregnant, but will undergo early abortion that is often unnoticed. That cow may then infect other herd bulls.

Signs of the disease include a high percentage of open cows and a subsequent low calving percentage. It may be advisable to test herd bulls for Trich prior to breeding, and again shortly after the breeding season. Eliminating open cows from the herd is another management practice that producers can use to prevent the spread of Trich and other reproductive diseases. Producers are advised to contact their veterinarian if they suspect Trich in their herd.

In 2005, a large number of herds in southwestern South Dakota were affected with the disease. The Animal Industry Board adopted rules at that time which requires Trich testing of nonvirgin bulls purchased, loaned, or leased in South Dakota. In addition, nonvirgin, nonpregnant females (open cows) are restricted from being sold for breeding purposes. As a result of the cooperation of livestock producers and veterinarians, the number of herds affected in South Dakota has been significantly reduced.

Contact your local veterinarian or the South Dakota Animal Industry Board at 605-773-3321, or