A total of 160 ewes on one farm in England were studied for 18 months. The incidence of footrot and interdigital dermatitis in individually identified sheep and treatment and flock control measures were recorded. A binomial mixed effect model with the incidence of footrot or interdigital dermatitis as the outcome was used to investigate patterns of association between treatments, flock control measures and the incidence of footrot or interdigital dermatitis. In this one flock, the incidence of footrot and interdigital dermatitis was positively associated with the incidence of footrot and interdigital dermatitis and with trimming of feet and negatively associated with the use of parenteral antibiotics and topical antibiotic sprays in either the first and/or second 2-week period prior to the incidence of interest. These results provide two hypotheses: one that 'footrot and interdigital dermatitis are infectious diseases that can be controlled, in part, through the use of antibiotic therapy, which acts to reduce the infectious period of diseased sheep' and two, that 'routine trimming of diseased and healthy feet exacerbate disease, through environmental contamination and/or through increased susceptibility of sheep with recently trimmed feet'.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the farmer for her contribution to this project and Ynte Schukken for useful discussions on the analysis of the data. This study was funded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Project No. AW1007).
- Mixed model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology