Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Udder impetigo

Synonym(s): S. aureus infection

Contributor(s): Ash Phipps , Neil Paton

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Introduction

  • Cause: Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Signs: udder impetigo lesions are most often seen on the hairless skin at the teat base,which appear as small circular, brown crusted pustules (2-4 mm in diameter). Some lesions extend into the subcutaneous tissues and appear as ulcers and boils.  
  • Diagnosis: definitive diagnosis based on cytology and/or culture.
  • Treatment: topical treatment with chlorhexidine.
  • Prognosis: good.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Staphylococcus aureus Staphylococcus spp infection of the hairless skin of the teat base.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Stress.
  • Unhygienic housing.
  • Wet environment.
  • Trauma to the udder.

Specific

  • Affected cows in the herd.
  • Mechanical spread - usually spread at milking (via milking apparatuses as well and human hands).
  • Mixing cattle from different properties of origins. 

Pathophysiology

  • A breach of the integument (through trauma or immune suppression), which allows a bacterium of the normal skin flora to penetrate the epidermis.
  • This results in an inflammatory reaction and the formation of a vesicle that ruptures to form a pustule and eventually a scab.

Timecourse

  • Can spread through a herd to affect a high proportion over a long period of time.

Epidemiology

  • Can affect a large number of cows in the herd.
  • Usually spreads slowly through the herd.

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.
  • Foster A P (2012) Staphylococcal skin disease in livestock. Veterinary dermatology, 342-363 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Haskell R R (2011) Blackwell's five-minute veterinary consult: ruminant. John Wiley & Sons, pp 283, 297.
  • Parkinson T J, Vermunt J J & Malmo J (2010) Diseases of cattle in Australasia: a comprehensive textbook. New Zealand Veterinary Association Foundation for Continuing Education. pp 580-581.
  • Otto M et al (2006) Veterinary Medicine: A textbook of the diseases of cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and goats. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp 751.


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