Prevalences of Udder Cleft Dermatitis and Dermatitis Digitalis in Five Dutch Dairy Herds
Vliet, E. van
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Udder cleft dermatitis (UCD) and Dermatitis Digitalis (DD) are both common on Dutch dairy farms. Udder cleft dermatitis is a disease of the skin which causes foul-smelling and moist udder sores. Dermatitis Digitalis is an infectious disease which gives an ulcerative lesion on the transition of skin and hoof. The diseases both cause a decrease in animal welfare and economic losses. Previous research found Treponema species in both UCD and DD lesions and suggest it might be the causal agent of both diseases. For this study, farms with a high prevalence of DD were visited. The purpose of this study is to investigate if there is a connection between the prevalences of DD and UCD. In previous studies a prevalence of 21.2% DD and a prevalence of 6% UCD was found on farms in the Netherlands. The hypothesis is to find a higher prevalence of both DD and UCD on these farms. Five herds were selected with a known problem with DD. Other selection criteria stated that the predominant breed should be Holstein Friesian and only lactating cows, cows in dry period or cows short of having a first calf are used. The claws and udder were inspected while standing in a hoof trimming chute. Cow identification numbers and the presence of DD and UCD were listed. A two-sample T-test was performed to compare the prevalences with prevalences found in literature. On the five farms, 426 cows were checked for UCD and DD. Cases of UCD were only found on two farms, while DD lesions were found on all farms. In the five herds visited, average prevalences of 0.9% UCD and 34.5% DD were found. The prevalence of DD is significantly higher and the prevalence of UCD is significantly lower than prevalences found in previous researches in the Netherlands. Future research has to focus on the pathogens involved in both DD and UCD to determine whether there is a common causal agent in both diseases.