Footrot in Cattle

With the summer storms here, there has been an increase in the incidence of Footrot in cattle in the area. Footrot in cattle is caused by a bacterial infection (most commonly Fusobacterium necrophorum). Footrot is characterised by a deep infection and dermatitis of the tissue between the claws. It can also involve under-running of the horn. The disease is most common in moist, muddy and humid conditions however can also occur in cattle with frequent access to dams and creeks. 

Affected cattle are often severely lame and have thickening or swelling of the skin between the claws and of the pastern region. 
The skin between the claw’s cracks and forms deep fissures where the infection can perpetuate for weeks after the ground has dried and rains have stopped. The infection has potential to spread to deeper tissues such as underlying bone and tendons which can lead to severe and long-lasting complications. 

Treatment involves anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. If the infection is severe, surgical debridement of the tissue may be required. 
The earlier treatment is implemented, the better the prognosis. 

If you suspect that you may have Footrot in your herd, move them to a drier paddock and call us at the clinic to organise a farm visit to assess your herd. 

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