Prevalence and risk factors of Udder Cleft Dermatitis in 20 Dutch dairy herds
Amersfort, K. van
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Udder cleft dermatitis (UCD) is a well known disorder in the field. However, relatively little is described in veterinary literature. The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of UCD on both cow and farm level and to investigate potential risk factors of UCD. On 20 randomly selected dairy farms in the Netherlands, each lactating and dry cow was photographed underneath, one side, and from behind. Six categories of UCD were determined from the ventral pictures. Cow measures such as udder width and depth, and fore udder attachment were determined from the side and rear photographs. A questionnaire was conducted on each farm during farm visit. Udder cleft dermatitis was detected in 6.0% of the 1,120 examined cows. Farm prevalences of UCD ranged between 0% and 13% and UCD was detected on 17 (85%) of the participating farms. Cows with a deep udder, relative deep udder, weak fore udder attachment or a small angle between udder and abdominal wall were more likely to develop UCD. Herd size, production level, bedding type, stall-cleaning frequency, and footbath use tended to be associated with farm UCD prevalence. Farm UCD prevalence tended to be higher in barns with longer stalls and higher alley-cleaning frequency. The prevalences of UCD found in the present study illustrate the current situation concerning UCD in the Netherlands. Our results demonstrate that there are multiple risk factors of UCD on both cow and farm level.