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Bovine lameness and digital dermatitis in dairy cows: updates on control and diagnostics approaches

Sound feet and legs of dairy cows are essential for the animal health, productivity, and welfare. Bovine lameness is one of the major causes of economic losses in dairy production systems [1]. It ranks fourth after mastitis, infertility and metabolic diseases [2]. The disease poses a major welfare and economic problem for dairy cattle, which results in reduced milk yield, reduced feed intake, weight loss, high treatment costs, high culling rate, and reduced fertility of affected animals [3,4]. Claw disorders have been found to be the cause of more than 90% of all lameness cases observed in dairy cattle [5]. Digital dermatitis (DD) is an important ulcerative infectious disease affecting the bovine foot worldwide, and may affect over 80% of cows within a herd [6,7]. The prevalence of DD varies from country to another based on the risk factors related to the animal, environment and managerial conditions [6].

Author(s): Yasser Mahmmod, Walid Refaai