Causes of sheep lameness

Hi Readers,

A few weeks ago I attended a seminar and one of the topics discussed included ‘causes of sheep lameness’. I thought I would list some of the causes we talked about and how farmers could treat them.

SCALD

  • Caused by the bacterium Dichelobacter nodosus
  • Antibiotic spray – do all feet
  • Inject with Alamycin

FOOTROT

  • Also caused by the bacterium Dichelobacter nodosus
  • Antibiotic spray – do all feet
  • Inject with Alamycin

CODD (Contageous Ovine Digital Dermititis)

  • The condition is caused by a spirochaete (flexible spirally twisted bacterium)
  • Antibiotic spray – do all feet
  • Inject with Alamycin

TOE GRANULOMA

  • Can be caused by excess foot trimming
  • It can also follow severe cases of footrot that have not been treated promptly
  • Can be given pain killer – no foot trimming as this is what causes it!
  • These rarely recover

ABSCESS

  • Caused by bacteria found in the gut and faeces of other sheep
  • Needs to be drained
  • Given antibiotics
  • Can be trimmed

SHELLY HOOF

  • It is not completely certain what causes shelly hoof
  • Can be trimmed

This seminar was useful to hear different people’s thoughts on things like foot trimming. Professionals no longer recommend aggressive foot trimming in the treatment of most causes of lameness as they often make the problem worse. Some farmers still foot trim, for example, before turn out after lambing as they find when hooves overgrow, mud gets trapped and keeps bacteria in contact with the hoof for longer as oppose to if their hooves were trimmed. Others argued with less hoof for protection, bacteria can cause problems faster.

What are your thoughts on foot trimming? Has anyone seen these conditions out on work experience? I am keen to hear your thoughts!

Sol

 

With thanks to the Park Vet Group for their seminar. I do not own any of these images.