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BDD information | Screening video | Foot Bathing

Breaking News: BDD in NZ?

Energy Vets Taranaki has just completed a Pilot Project looking for the emerging disease Bovine Digital Dermatitis (BDD). We have discovered to our surprise that the disease is well and truly here as 66% of farms in the Project area had BDD lesions. If a farmer does nothing to control it, it is likely to spread.

If you are a dairy farmer the first thing to do is to be informed about this disease. We have released a new updated information leaflet available (see below).

Next, every farmer should check the feet of their cows - look at the video (below) on how simple this is.

Healthy Hoof Information on BDD (Infectious Lameness) - what to look for and how to treat.

    This is a new and emerging problem in New Zealand.

    Appearance: A typical case of digital dermatitis goes through a number of stages.

    The early lesion is seen as a moist, light grey brown, exuding area with mottled hair at the back of the foot.

    It has a characteristic foul odour. .....

    Open the whole article as a printable pdf document.





If you have a case on your farm check the whole herd for BDD at milking time

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Footbathing is one method of control of this disease.

Footbath information for large grazing herds can be found here.

This article discusses footbathing as a control measure.

Foot Bathing

More information on this disease is included here:

NADIS information on Digital Dermatitis

This first article gives an overview of the disease.

Digital Dermatitis - Causes, Treatment and Control

For more information go to the NZ BDD website BDD Website


Newsletter Article From Inglewood Vet Services

June 2014
Digital Dermatitis - are we at the beginning of an epidemic in New Zealand?

A highly infectious disease of the feet of dairy cattle BDD is appearing all over New Zealand. It is suspected that isolated cases may have been seen as early as the 1980's, but now the disease seems to be changing and spreading within and between dairy herds.

Overseas experience is that the main way it is spread, is from cow to cow, so buying in a single infected cow is a great risk to a clean herd. Because it is so infectious it can also possibly spread on hoof knives and dirty equipment.

This lesion can be quite big, like a 1 - 3 cm strawberry, or as small as a dry little scab when it is healing. It is usually at the top to the cleft between the claws at the back of the foot. Very seldom is the cow lame unless the lesion grows big. You often won't notice the lesion unless clean the mud off the back of the foot at milking time. There is no swelling of the foot.

So what am I asking or suggesting? Look out for lame cows with a lesion like those in the photos. Separate the cow and get us to come and take a biopsy. Then we can work out a plan of action.

More than 50 herds around New Zealand have found the disease in the last two years. In nearly every case only one cow was identified by the farmer, but on examining the herd there were nearly always multiples.

Although the disease is not causing obvious lameness at this stage in New Zealand, the experience in overseas countries is that with time the disease seems to become more and more serious, often affecting most of the herd and with increasing lameness. This is especially true where cows are housed or on feed pads. It will become an animal welfare problem.

This disease could be in your herd undetected, but spreading, because the cows don't show lameness whilst walking. In one herd in the North Island more than 60 cows are infected and not one is obviously lame. This herd had 10% of the herd with lesions early in the season and chose not to do anything because no cow was lame. Despite a very dry year the percentage in this herd rose to 28% five months later.

If you see anything suspicious on the feet of your cows get us to have a look and take a sample so that we can help you to control this disease.