Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Mud fever

Synonym(s): Rain scald, Dermatophilosis

Contributor(s): Nick Bell, Sophie Mahendran , Mark Burnell

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Introduction

  • Cause: Dermatophilus species of bacteria following exposure to wet conditions.
  • Signs: generalized dermatitis of the lower leg, with thickened scabby skin and possible lameness.
  • Diagnosis: the presence of hair loss, crusts or scabs, and dermatitis of the lower legs.
  • Treatment: usually self-resolving.
  • Prognosis: good.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • A sporadic disease caused by Dermatophilus species, usually Dermatophilus congolensis.
    • Gram positive anerobe.
    • It is restricted to living layers of the epidermis.
  • Usually affects the lower legs.
    • Hindlimbs seem to be affected more than forelimbs.
  • Can also affected other parts of the body that are exposed to a lot of wet conditions.
    • Muzzle, back.
  • The bacteria is thought to be spread by direct contact between animals.
  • Generally associated with cattle exposed to prolonged periods of cold, wet and muddy conditions.
    • This disrupts the natural barrier of the skin and allows establishment of the bacteria.

Predisposing factors

Specific

  • Wet, muddy conditions ie cattle managed at pasture.

Disease progression

  • The dermatitis may progress up the leg, or in severe cases, secondary infection can occur leading to a cellulitis.

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

Other sources of information

  • Shearer J K (2009) Chapter 52 - Infectious disorders of the foot skin. In: Food animal practice.5th edn. Eds: Rings D & Anderson D. Saint Louis: W.B. Saunders. pp 234–42.


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