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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

FOOT ROT IN RUMINANTS.

Foot rot is the common cause of lameness in ruminants and the effects are devastating both physically and financially. Lameness affects productivity,fertility and longevity of the animals on the farm. Foot rot is a common cause of lameness on farms. Foot rot causes economic losses through reduced live weight gain, reduced fertility and reduced mobility, it is a debilitating and painful condition and it is highly infectious and spreads easily from animal to animal on farm. Foot rot is easily recognized by a foul, very distinctive smell and under-running of the hoof causing the sole and the hoof wall to separate. Foot rot is caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum, the bacteria that causes scald,and it is found in the intestines of ruminants and is usually passed out with dung onto the field. This bacterium infects the hoof space first, particularly when it is damaged due to trauma or wet conditions. Foot rot occurs where scald is already established and the animal now comes in contact with a second bacterium called Dichelobacter nodosus. This second bacterium is able to enter the hoof and cause significant damage. Foot rot is an animal-animal disease and control and prevention must focus on a whole flock health plan. Control measures include :1) bio security plan for farm to include isolation and physical examination of newly acquired animals to farm. 2) provision of foot baths and regular hoof examination 3)Ensure the stalls are clean and dry. 4)Early detection will spur early treatment,thus observe animals and start treatment immediately. Animals that have persistent infection and lame and don't respond to treatment should be culled.