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Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a venereal disease that causes embryonic losses, vaginal discharges and abortions in cows.

It is caused by a protozoa parasite called Tritrichomonas foetus that is spread during mating or through contaminated equipment (or semen) during calving or artificial insemination.

Conditions when trichomoniasis is likely to occur

Trichomoniasis is more likely to occur when there is movement of infected bulls or cows between or among herds. It is more likely in northern Australia where it is endemic.

Identification and diagnosis

Diagnosis of trichomoniasis will require veterinary assistance.

Clinical signs that would lead producers to suspect trichomoniasis include the following:

  • early-term abortion
  • vaginal discharge
  • low pregnancy rates
  • low calving rates or an extended calving season.

Prevention

An integrated approach to prevent trichomoniasis should consider the following:

  • culling infected bulls
  • reducing the age of bulls and improving bull control
  • controlled mating i.e. restricting to a short (3-6 months) period provides sexual rest for cows and facilitates disease control
  • segregating heifers and mating with young bulls.