Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Interdigital dermatitis

Synonym(s): IDD, heel necrosis, slurry heel, heel erosion

Contributor(s): Nick Bell , Roger Blowey

Introduction

  • Cause: superficial epidermatitis caused by a range of pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria (typically a polymicrobial infection), often including but not exclusively:
    • Dichelobacter nodosum
    • Prevotella spp
    • Fusobacterium necrophorum
    • Treponema spp.
  • Signs: pale, macerated skin with a fetid odor, often with fissures in the heel horn (also known as heel horn erosion). The disease is not an accepted cause of lameness, but it can predispose to other skin conditions such as foul-in-the-foot and digital dermatitis.
  • Diagnosis: visual appearance and fetid odor.
  • Treatment: wash with dilute disinfectant and/or apply a topical antibacterial treatment.
  • Prognosis: excellent.
Print off the farmer factsheet on Interdigital dermatitis to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Dichelobacter nodosum inoculation from ovine foot rot lesion reproduces classic disease.
  • Other bacteria reported including:
    • Treponeme spp (notably phylogroups T. pedis, phagedenis, medium).
    • Organisms associated with foul-in-the-foot such as Prevotella spp.
  • As all 3 DD Digital dermatitis treponemes are involved:
    • Some authors believe that IDD is simply a mild manifestation of DD in the interdigital space.
    • Typical DD does also occur in the interdigital space, especially on the surface of  interdigital hyperplasia lesions.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Slurry contaminated and wet underfoot conditions.
  • Endemic digital dermatitis.

Specific

  • Housing, particularly extended housing.
  • Solid floors in housing particularly with wet feet, slurry build up and automatic scrapers.
  • Lack of preventative hoof trimming and foot bathing Footbaths (foot disinfection).
  • Lactating dairy cows, from 30 days into lactation.

Pathophysiology

  • Macerated skin with superficial bacterial infection of the epidermis.
  • The erosive pathology observed in heel horn erosion does not share similarities of liquefactive necrosis seen in digital dermatitis and interdigital dermatitis.

Timecourse

  • Subclinical so no acute disease recognised.
  • Cattle can remain infected for months without clinical disease.

Epidemiology

  • Housing period.
  • Mostly affected adult cattle.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Knappe-Poindecker M, Gilhuus M, Jensen T K, Klitgaard K, Larssen R B & Fjeldaas T (2013) Interdigital dermatitis, heel horn erosion, and digital dermatitis in 14 Norwegian dairy herds. J dairy sci 96, 7617–7629 PubMed.
  • Somers J, Frankena K, Noordhuizen-Stassen E N & Metz  J H M (2005) Risk factors for interdigital dermatitis and heel erosion in dairy cows kept in cubicle houses in The Netherlands. Prev vet med 71, 23–34 PubMed.
  • Blowey R W & Done S H (1995) Failure to demonstrate histological changes of digital or interdigital dermatitis in biopsies of slurry heel. Vet rec 137, 379 PubMed.
  • Walker R L, Read D H, Loretz K J & Nordhausen R W (1995) Spirochetes isolated from dairy cattle with papillomatous digital dermatitis and interdigital dermatitis. Vet microbiol 47, 343–355 PubMed.


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