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The etiology of digital dermatitis in ruminants: recent perspectives

Authors Wilson-Welder J, Alt D, Nally J

Received 27 November 2014

Accepted for publication 25 February 2015

Published 4 May 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 155—164

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VMRR.S62072

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Musser


Video abstract presented by Jarlath E Nally

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Jennifer H Wilson-Welder, David P Alt, Jarlath E Nally

Bacterial Diseases of Livestock Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Ames, IA, USA

Abstract: Digital dermatitis (DD) is a multifactorial polymicrobial infectious disease originally described in dairy cattle, but is increasingly recognized in beef cattle, sheep, and more recently, elk and goats. Clinical bovine lesions typically appear on the plantar surface of the hind foot from the interdigital space and heel bulb to the accessory digits, with a predilection for skin–horn junctions. Lesions present as a painful ulcerative acute or chronic inflammatory process with differing degrees of severity. This variability reflects disease progression and results in a number of different clinical descriptions with overlapping pathologies that ultimately have a related bacterial etiology. The goal of this review article is to provide a concise overview of our current understanding on digital dermatitis disease to facilitate clinical recognition, our current understanding on the causative agents, and recent advances in our understanding of disease transmission.

Keywords: Digital dermatitis, treponemes, lameness, ruminant

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