The Udder Side


It’s August, and our county fairs (in Arkansas) are coming soon, with everyone getting ready to go back to school. 

Next month, we have the Fort Smith fair, and then in October we have the state fair. It takes quite a little bit to get animals ready for these. With me and our practice, it’s all about their health. We want everyone to show but with no transmission of any disease. 

Some of the things to watch out for is warts and ringworm on cattle. We cannot have anything like this that is very contagious at the fairs. Warts can be removed and treated with a vaccine and/or other medicine. Ringworm will need to be scrubbed with iodine and treated daily until it is gone. I have seen a lot of ringworm coming from the Fort Smith, Ark., fair. Also, no snotty noses and/or any form of a respiratory infection at fairs. This would be one of the most contagious problems we could run into. 

With our pigs, our main concerns are rhinitis and respiratory pathogens. Again, we cannot have any signs of this in our show pigs. There are other diseases also but, our pigs are blood tested for Pseudorabies and Brucellosis, and hopefully are free of all diseases. One of the main problems I have seen over the years has been either mycoplasma or flu. We do have vaccines for these, and all pigs showing should be vaccinated when feasible for these diseases. 

In small ruminants (sheep and goats), our main problem here is ringworm or wool fungus. This is very contagious and travels from contact and/or other surfaces. It can be treated by scrubbing with iodine and then treated daily. But all clinical signs must be gone to be in the show barn. I have seen a lot of animals come home from Fort Smith with wool fungus. 

In the past, I have seen cases of Orf or Contagious Ecthyma (sore mouth) in animals checking in for the fair. These animals had to go home, regretfully. I hate sending anyone home, but we do not need them spreading the disease to others just to show. 

Every county fair will have a small difference in rules and regulations, and you should always check with your fair book and your local veterinarian. 

Let’s just make sure all animals are healthy, and everyone shows for the experience. Happy showing, and at least have some fun and be safe.

Dr. Tim E. O’Neill, DVM, owns Country Veterinary Service in Farmington, Ark. To contact Tim go to and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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