The duration and clinical course of udder cleft dermatitis
Soest, S.M. van
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Udder cleft dermatitis (UCD) is an exudative dermatitis of the skin at the anterior junction of the frond quarters of the udder and the abdominal wall. Although UCD is well known in veterinary practice, little is published about this condition. Therefore the goal of this trial was to determine the duration and clinical course of UCD. Cows on five farms were repeatedly observed over a 45 week period. Photographs were taken of UCD lesions and scored according to a new scoring system. Later, a healthy, mild and severe classification was made, based on the presence of a breach in the skin. The average within-herd prevalence of UCD in the trial was 37%. Prevalence increased with parity. The incidence found was low, 1.85 episodes/100 cows/week. The duration is the major contributor to the high prevalence: Only half of the cows with a form of UCD were recovered after a 35 week period. A huge difference was found in the time to recovery between mild UCD and severe UCD, with the latter group hardly recovering at all; only 22% of the cows with severe UCD were recovered after a 38 week period. Episodes of UCD started more often around parturition (period from >305 days in milk to <61 days in milk). The severe stage of UCD started more often in fresh cows (0-60 days in milk) and was more likely to occur in heifers and second parity animals. 76% of the severe lesions were preceded by mild stage of UCD.