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The etiology of digital dermatitis in ruminants: recent perspectives

Jennifer H. Wilson-Welder, David P. Alt, Jarlath E. Nally
Veterinary medicine: research and reports 2015 v.2015 no.6 pp. 155-164
beef cattle, dairy cattle, dermatitis, disease course, disease transmission, elks, etiology, feet, goats, infectious diseases, inflammation, lesions (animal), sheep
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.