Digital Dermatitis Minimize

Digital Dermatis is also know as: "Papillomatous digital dermatitis", "Mortellaro's Disease", "Strawberries", "Hairy foot warts", "Interdigital Papillomatous", "Strawberry Heel".

Etiology and Pathogenesis:

  • Probably due to a spirochete (Treponema like)
  • Possibly due to Serpens species
  • Digital dermatitis is a new, recently emerged disease with worldwide distribution.

Clinical Presentation:
It is the most common bovine foot disease. It is more frequent in housed cattle than pastured cattle. It is highly infectious and contagious, and can cause severe herd outbreaks in naive herds. There is very limited post infection immunity. 60% recurrence within 7 to 12 weeks was seen in a California dairy. 80% recurrence within 2 months was seen in several studies.

Physical Findings:
Find 80% in posterior digital space of hind feet affected. Lesions occur on the hair covered skin proximal to the heel bulbs.

  1. Initially:
    • flat red, velvet-like plaque with distinct margin
    • no swelling but very painful to the touch
  2. Intermediate state:
    • long hairs develop at the edges
    • horn in the heel area becomes eroded
  3. mature or advanced stage:
    • lesion now raised with papillae beginning to form
    • long papillae are the hallmark of an old/established lesion
  4. characteristic "tip toe" gait
    • may stand or even walk OK until something contacts the lesion
  5. may occasionally be seen in other area of the foot
    • anterior interdigital space
    • interdigitally especially around fibromas

Parental antibiotics may be helpful. Individual animals -> clean area and apply topical agents. Herd -> footbaths (be careful -> may actually spread it if poorly maintained) -> garden sprayer for use in the milking parlor or tie stall barn

  1. topical tetracycline
  2. topical lincomycin
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