A couple days ago we noticed one of our cows, Cici, had a swollen eye, that way very irritated. Her symptoms implied that she likely had pinkeye. Pinkeye in cattle can occur when the eye is irritated by long grass, dust or flies, and if not treated it can lead to blindness.
Just looking at Cici's eye you can't tell that it is hurting her? If you were in pain like this or a family member was would you opt for an antibiotic treatment?
Cici's treatment was a two step process. First we gave her a injection of Penicillin. Since Cici is a cow raising a calf right now so she won't be entering the food chain. However, if she was, we would have to wait 10 days withdrawal period (these instructions are found on the bottle and this Beef Quality Assurance chart) for any antibiotic residues to leave her system so that the any meat entering the food system would be safe.
Next we prepared a patch for Cici to wear so that nothing (wind, flies, dirt, grass) would continue to irritate her eye.
Old worn out jeans make the perfect cow eye patches.
Cici the "Pirate" cow is now on the road to recovery.
I don't think any of what the Boy and I did to Cici was lazy or irresponsible. Instead we are making sure the animal health and welfare of our herd is closely watched. There is tons of misinformation and fear tactics that groups like Panera try to use to market a product. If you have questions about antibiotics ask a farmer or vet for some help sorting out the answers. We are the ones that are raising the food that is feeding our family and our communities.
If you are looking for more information on common questions like antibiotics, GMOs, hormones, corporate farms, etc, check out this awesome website called Finding Common Ground. Tons of great resources!