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Prevalence of digital dermatitis in first lactation cows assessed at breeding cattle auctions

Prevalence of digital dermatitis in first lactation cows assessed at breeding cattle auctions

Veterinary Journal 183(2): 161-165

The prevalence of digital dermatitis (DD) in first lactation cows (FLCs) presented at 10 breeding cattle auctions was determined in a single auction centre in Austria over a period of 14 months. At each auction, FLCs were selected randomly for claw examination from the monthly auction catalogue. After obtaining owner consent, the hindclaws were examined in a walk-in crush. The type of lesion (M1-M4) and the diameter of DD lesions together with claw horn lesions and the trimming status of the claws were evaluated. From a total of 1110 FLCs registered for the ten auctions, 399 (36%) were randomly chosen for examination and 199 FLCs (17.9%) could be defined. In 63 cows (15.7%), the owners refused consent. A total of 24 FLCs were found to have DD lesions on one or both hindlimbs, resulting in a DD prevalence of 12.1%. The size of lesions ranged from 0.5-3 cm in diameter. No influence of environmental factors (such as season or housing) on the prevalence of DD could be found. In 30/199 (15.1%) of FLCs examined, claw horn lesions such as double sole, white line disease and sole ulcer were observed, but both claw horn and DD lesions were seen in only three cows. Potential buyers at auctions should be aware of both conditions, as the 12.1% prevalence of DD and the 15.1% prevalence of claw horn lesions in FLCs are considerable. Critical evaluation of claw health and DD is essential when purchasing breeding cattle.

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Accession: 035548758

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PMID: 19128989

DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.11.001

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