Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Foot dressings: overview

Synonym(s): Foot bandage

Contributor(s): Nick Bell, Sophie Mahendran , Paul Wood

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  • The use of foot dressings in cattle is common practice among many vets, foot trimmers and farmers.
  • However, there is a very limited evidence-base for many of the products and techniques used.
  • The most common instances when foot dressings are utilized are:
    • To control bleeding following surgery such as claw amputation or necrotic hoof lesion debridement.
    • In the treatment of digital dermatitis.
    • For the conservative treatment of interdigital hyperplasia.
  • Leaving bandage dressings on for too long or with distal limb inflammation can result in serious risks of complication.
    • It should be noted that Treponemes, that cause digital dermatitis, are anerobic and favor moist conditions, all of which are provided by the application of a bandage.
  • Whatever the type of dressing used, the foot and lesion must be clean and dry before application, and the cow must then be kept in a clean and dry environment to avoid both early removal of the dressing and absorption of contaminants from the environment.


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Topical treatments

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Further Reading


Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Plummer P & Krull A (2017) Clinical perspectives of Digital Dermatitis in dairy and beef cattle. Veterinary clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 33 (2), 165–81.
  • Fiedler A, Haas J, Hoefler R, Kellhuber H, Moosbauer M, Warmedinger H, Doepfer D & Maierl J (2013) Polyurethane Wound Dressing on Digital Dermatitis. International ruminant lameness conference. Bristol, UK.
  • Cutler J, Higginson H, Cramer G, Walter J, Millman S & Kelton D F (2013) Randomized clinical trial of tetracycline hydrochloride bandage and paste treatments for resolution of lesions and pain associated with digital dermatitis in dairy cattle. Journal of dairy science 96 (12), 7550–57.
  • Holzhauer, Menno, Bartels C, Bergsten C, van Riet M, Frankena K & Lam T (2012) The effect of an acidified, ionized copper sulphate solution on Digital Dermatitis in dairy cows. The Veterinary Journal 193 (3), 659–63.
  • Relun A, Lehebel A, Bareille N & Guatteo R (2012) Effectiveness of different regimens of a collective topical treatment using a solution of copper and zinc chelates in the cure of digital dermatitis in dairy farms under field conditions. Journal of Dairy Science 95 (7), 3722–35.
  • Schultz N & Capion N (2013) Efficacy of salicylic acid in the treatment of Digital Dermatitis in dairy cattle. The Veterinary Journal 198 (2), 518–23.