Prevention of digital dermatitis

digital dermatitis (DD)

Hairy heel wart is the commonly used term for digital dermatitis (DD), which is a dangerously contagious foot disease found in cattle. DD has been identified as the leading cause of lameness in dairy cattle in the United States, with a prevalence of up to 80%. Prevention of digital dermatitis is notoriously difficult because a multitude of factors play a role in its incidence.

Dairy farmers have historically successfully made use of walk-through footbaths to limit it’s spread. Recently, however, the prevalence of hairy heel wart in beef feedlots has been on the rise. Without tools to easily treat and manage the disease, producers will begin to see exponential increases lameness cases, 90% of which are reoccurring.

Research has reported that the performance trace minerals found in Availa®Plus could assist in prevention of digital dermatitis through the enhancement of herd health. Healthy cattle will be better able to fight off DD-causing bacteria and cope better with stressful events.

Read more about DD in this article by Dr Arturo Gomez, entitled, “What we know and don’t know about digital dermatitis in cattle“. Dr Gomez is the global dairy species lead in the Research and Nutritional Services team at Zinpro, and this article was first published in their newslettter, Essential Feed.

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