It is an infectious, contagious disease of sheep that causes severe lameness and economic loss from decreased flock production. Eradication is difficult and requires commitment but is well worth the effort. It is also apparent from the following studies that no single treatment is effective. OVINE FOOT ROT was first reported in 1869. PreventionIt is always easier and less expensive to prevent foot rot than to treat it after it has become established. In a comparison of treatments from recent studies (Table 1), it is apparent that eradication is possible using combinations of these treatment programs. Sheep that do not respond to treatment or sheep with repeated infections should be culled. W. Dee Whittier, Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Science, and Steven H. Umberger, Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, Virginia Tech. B. When several animals are affected, treating all sheep in the group in a 10% zinc sulphate solution or 3% formalin in a footbath usually provides effective control. When trimming feet, it is important to disinfect the trimming instruments (foot shear, hoof parer, or knife) between animals to prevent spreading of the infection. Footbaths/Footsoaks: There are two different types of solutions commonly used in foot baths: zinc sulfate and copper sulfate. Avoid using facilities (trails, corrals, dipping areas) where infected sheep may have been in the last two weeks. The essentials of the eradication program area. Actually, he was able to run quite fast on those remaining three legs and for the next week, I felt pretty foolish running around daily, trying to corner and catch such a small three-legged lamb that could still outrun and outsmart me!Even multiple cases of limping in a flock may … Treatment is usually with an antibiotic medication. Trim and trea… © 2021 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. monthly, bi-lingual (English-Hindi) & highly circulated technical magazines dedicated to Poultry  and Livestock Industry. Disclaimer:Commercial products are named in this publication for informational purposes only. Since the organism doesn't survive long in the environment (< 2 wks), carriers in the flock will continue to reinfect the flock unless the animal is either culled or the organism is eliminated by proper treatment. Foot trimming should be done at least one to two times per year as a part of normal management practices, and more often in conjunction with footbaths in the control of foot rot. It also stains the wool. Sheep Foot Rot. The essentials of the program are the willpower to cull chronically affected sheep and those that do not respond to vaccination, antibiotics, foot trimming, and footsoaks/baths. CLEAN GRAZING – allow 2 weeks break (as long as possible if aiming for eradication) FOOT BATHING – facilities must be good and product used at correct concentration. Copper sulfate (bluestone) solutions (10% solution = 16 pounds in 20 gallons of water) are also useful but are toxic if consumed by the sheep. Proper and frequent hoof trimming does help control the conditions in which yeast thrive. The past lambing season was one in which I got an advanced education in “Sheep Feet 101.” Thankfully (and knock on wood) we have not had sheep foot rot on the farm. Any lame sheep in the clean group should be immediately examined or put in the "dirty" flock to prevent contamination of the clean flock. Do not foot trim sheep with overgrown feet unless it is affecting their ability to walk – on many farms long feet will wear away naturally. Foot-rot is a flock problem and is spread from sheep to sheep via the ground or bedding. Most of the treated sheep will recover. The zinc sulfate is poisonous; do not allow the sheep to drink it. Diets deficient in certain minerals also predispose animals to poor hoof health and secondary infections. (1941). Another cause of foot rot may be high temperatures or humidity, causing the skin between the hooves to crack and let the bacteria infect the foot. Last spring I discovered a two-week-old ram lamb limping, holding a front foot up in the air and walking on the remaining three feet. Diagnosing foot rot or scald correctly is the first step in keeping the damage to the animal, and contamination of your soil to a minimum. Furthermore disease […] The sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the more rapid the recovery. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Foot-rot in Sheep: a Transmissible Disease due to Infection with Fusiformis nodosus (n.sp.). 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