Digital Dermatitis

Digital dermatitis affects the skin on the bulbs of the heel of cattle. Digital dermatitis can also be found between the digits or in the area of the coronary band. It is an extremely painful condition and causes major economic losses in dairy cows.
Even mild digital dermatitis causes significant damage to the skin and, as it progresses, the affected area expands and the depth of tissue damaged increases. If digital dermatitis is not treated it can persist for months. 

Diagnosis 
 
1. Lameness.
Cattle with digital dermatitis may show signs of lameness when standing or when moving. The most commonly seen presentation is the animal that moves its foot repeatedly or shifts weight while standing 
 
2. Pain.
Digital dermatitis is very painful, and the majority of cows with digital dermatitis will withdraw the foot rapidly if pressure is applied to the affected area.
  
Treatment

There are three treatment options:

1) Individual application of antibiotics to the damaged skin via a garden sprayer.
2) Herd treatment via an antibiotic foot-bath
3) Herd treatment via a non-antibiotic foot-bath 
 
Prevention

Housing is a major risk factor for digital dermatitis, although cattle at pasture can still get digital dermatitis, especially in wet conditions.
Slurry contact is a major risk factor so it is important to keep passages as clean as possible
Early treatment is extremely important to prevent chronic infection and limit spread within the herd
Routine herd footbathing is important to help limit infection, this can be with either antibiotic footbath, non antibiotic products or parlour washings.

Please contact our vets if you require further advice.
 

Digital dermatitis affects the skin on the bulbs of the heel of cattle. Digital dermatitis can also be found between the digits or in the area of the coronary band. It is an extremely painful condition and causes major economic losses in dairy cows.
Even mild digital dermatitis causes significant damage to the skin and, as it progresses, the affected area expands and the depth of tissue damaged increases. If digital dermatitis is not treated it can persist for months. 

Diagnosis 
 
1. Lameness.
Cattle with digital dermatitis may show signs of lameness when standing or when moving. The most commonly seen presentation is the animal that moves its foot repeatedly or shifts weight while standing 
 
2. Pain.
Digital dermatitis is very painful, and the majority of cows with digital dermatitis will withdraw the foot rapidly if pressure is applied to the affected area.
  
Treatment

There are three treatment options:

1) Individual application of antibiotics to the damaged skin via a garden sprayer.
2) Herd treatment via an antibiotic foot-bath
3) Herd treatment via a non-antibiotic foot-bath 
 
Prevention

Housing is a major risk factor for digital dermatitis, although cattle at pasture can still get digital dermatitis, especially in wet conditions.
Slurry contact is a major risk factor so it is important to keep passages as clean as possible
Early treatment is extremely important to prevent chronic infection and limit spread within the herd
Routine herd footbathing is important to help limit infection, this can be with either antibiotic footbath, non antibiotic products or parlour washings.

Please contact our vets if you require further advice.
 

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Ballyclare Hospital
75 Ballynure Road
Ballyclare
BT39 9AG
028 9332 2223

Abbey Clinic
163 Doagh Road
Whiteabbey
BT36 6AA
028 9036 5573
Cavehill Clinic
136 Cavehill Road
Belfast
BT15 5BU
028 9071 8134

Carrick Clinic
Unit 1 Victoria Road,
Shopping Centre,
Carrickfergus, 
BT38 7JE



                                                   

Ballyclare Hospital
75 Ballynure Road
Ballyclare
BT39 9AG
028 9332 2223

Abbey Clinic
163 Doagh Road
Whiteabbey
BT36 6AA
028 9036 5573
Cavehill Clinic
136 Cavehill Road
Belfast
BT15 5BU
028 9071 8134

Carrick Clinic
Unit 1 Victoria Road,
Shopping Centre,
Carrickfergus, 
BT38 7JE