Foot Rot Les Walz County Extension Agent Cleveland County
What is Foot Rot? • An infectious, contagious disease of goats, sheep, and even cattle that causes lameness and economic loss from decreased production. • The disease can only live in the hoof of an infected animal or in the soil for 2-3 weeks.
Is it Foot Rot? • Lameness is usually major sign. • Area between toes becomes moist and reddened. • Infection has a characteristic foul odor. • Other possibilities: foot abscesses, foot scald, laminitis, corns, foreign bodies lodged between the toes.
Transmission • The bacteria is spread from infected animal to the ground, manure, bedding, etc., where it is picked up by others. • The disease is usually introduced through new animals. • It can be introduced from other farms through foot traffic or machinery. • The disease spreads best in temps of 40-70 degrees and wet environments.
Prevention • Never buy infected animals. • Avoid buying animals where comingled. • Avoid using facilities where infected animals have been in the last 2 weeks. • Never transport animals in un-cleaned vehicles. • Trim and treat feet of new arrivals and keep isolated for 30 days.
Treatment • Foot trimming • Footbaths/footsoaks: • Dry Chemicals • Oral Therapy • Injection of antibiotics • Topical medications • Vaccination
Footbaths • Zinc sulfate - 10% solution (16lbs in 20 gallons) - surfactant can be added - 30-60 minutes of contact • Copper sulfate - 10% solution (16 lbs in 20 gallons) - can add some vinegar to help dissolve - very corrosive to metal
Dry Chemicals • Zinc sulfate dry. • Can be placed in a box where animals can walk through it. • Will not treat infected animals, but for prevention. • Lime, disinfectants, or drying agents used around feed and water troughs to reduce moisture.
Oral Therapy • Zinc sulfate or zinc oxide • 0.5 grams per day for 21 days may be helpful in treatment and prevention • Feed antibiotics may also be helpful; consult a veterinarian.
Injection of Antibiotics • Penicillin and streptomycin as one shot or every day up to 10 days has been proven to be effective. • Single injections of long-acting tetracycline have also been successful. • Consult a veterinarian first.
Topical Medications • Several medications for application to the hoof. • Zinc sulfate (10% solution) • Copper sulfate (10% solution in vinegar) • Copper sulfate in pine tar (2:1) • Oxy solution in alcohol • Penicillin in alcohol
Vaccination • Approved for use in the U.S. for sheep. • Effectiveness range from 0-100 percent. • Most users report 60-80 percent. • Vaccinate before start of wet season followed by a booster each year. • Abscesses are common. • Consult with a veterinarian first.
Summary • Eradication can be accomplished by using a combination of procedures. • No single treatment is effective. • Repeat offenders should be culled. • Choose a combination that best fits your management program and financial situation.