ISSN 2398-2993      

Foot rot

obovis

Synonym(s): Foul-in-the-foot, Interdigital necrobacillosis, Interdigital phlegmon, Interdigital pododermatitis, Super-foul


Introduction

  • Cause: bacterial infection by Fusobacterium necrophorum.
  • Signs: acute lameness and swelling of the foot and interdigital region.
  • Diagnosis: discharging and coalescing skin fissures in the interdigital space, with dark, moist, necrotic edges and a fetid odor.
  • Treatment: systemic antibiotics and NSAIDs.
  • Prognosis: good if treated promptly and effectively, and no spread of infection to deeper structures of the foot. A highly virulent form (“super-foul”) carries a very poor prognosis unless detected within 12 hours of onset.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • An infectious disease of the interdigital skin and subcutaneous tissues.
    • Caused by the bacteria Fusobacterium necrophorum Fusobacterium necrophorum.
      • This bacteria is ubiquitous in the environment, and is shed in feces from the gastrointestinal tract.
      • It is a gram negative anerobic bacillus, biotypes A, B and AB.
  • Additional bacteria such as Porphyromonas levii and Prevotella intermedia may also be involved.
  • While still unproven, Treponemes associated with digital dermatitis Digital dermatitis may be involved with the peracute form of the disease known as “super-foul”.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Warm and moist environmental conditions in Spring and Autumn (Fall) provide ideal conditions, especially if there is a lot of slurry or pooling water.
  • Mud.
  • Mud balling between claws in drier weather.
  • Pooled dirty water.
  • Certain bedding materials such as sand or recycled wood chip. The latter can contain splinters, glass and occasionally sharp metal fragments.
  • Uncontrolled digital dermatitis Digital dermatitis can result in a range of lesions from a milder “interdigital dermatitis” with a pungent odor through to the peracute and severe “super-foul”.
  • Stubble fields, stalks from fodder crops or rough grazing pastures with thistles can predispose to interdigital foot injuries and entry of bacteria.

Specific

  • Sand bedding.
  • Incorrectly managed foot baths can predispose to epidemics.
  • Muddy tracks, gateways, feeding trough, water troughs and pasture.
  • Certain designs of automatic scrapers.
  • Immunosuppression eg bovine viral diarrhea Bovine viral diarrhea.
  • Skin trauma due to sharp ice has been reported.

Progression

  • If left untreated, the infection can extend into the deeper structures of the foot, causing deep sepsis of the navicular bursa, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis and abscess formation in the retro-articular space
  • The disease can be self-limiting in neglected cases

Pathophysiology

  • Infection requires trauma or maceration of the interdigital skin (through prolonged exposure to moisture).
  • Contamination of injured interdigital skin results in colonisation of F. necrophorum.
    • This bacteria has several virulence factors such as endotoxin, hemolysin, adhesins, proteases and leukotoxins.
    • The leukotoxins are cytotoxic for neutrophils, macrophages and epithelial cells, and can induce cell lysis to occur.
      • This leads to tissue necrosis.
  • Granulation tissue can develop in the interdigital space, with secondary bacterial infections common.
  • Cattle do not appear to develop protective immunity, so re-infection is common.

Timecourse

  • The lesion develops over 1-5 days.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Prevention

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Metre D (2017) Pathogenesis and treatment of bovine foot rot. Veterinary clinics of North America: food animal practice 33 (2), 183–94 PubMed.
  • Alban L, Lawwson L & Agger A F (1995) Foul in the foot (interdigital necrobacillosis) in danish dairy cows — frequency and possible risk factors. Preventive veterinary medicine 24 (2), 73–82 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Egger-Danner C, Nielsen P & Fiedlerm A et al (2015) ICAR claw health atlas.
  • Shearer Jan K (2009) Chapter 52 - Infectious disorders of the foot skin. In: Food animal practice. 5th edn. Saint Louis: W B Saunders. pp 234–42.
  • Greenough P, Bergsten C, Brizzi A & Mülling C (2007) Chapter 15 - Infectious diseases and other conditions affecting the interdigital space. In: Bovine laminitis and lameness. Edinburgh: W B Saunders. pp 199–220.
  • Blowey R & Weaver D (2003) Chapter 7 - Locomotor disorders. In: Color atlas of diseases and disorders of cattle. 2nd edn. Oxford: Mosby. pp 83–122.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code