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Prevalence and distribution of foot lesions in finishing pigs in south-west England
  1. N. Mouttotou, DVM1,
  2. F. M. Hatchell, BVSc, MRCVS2,
  3. M. Lundervold, BVSc, MRCVS3 and
  4. L. E. Green, BVSc, MSc, PhD, MRCVS1
  1. 1 University of Bristol, Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, Division of Animal Health and Husbandry, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS 18 7DU
  2. 2 64 Galgate, Bamard Castle, County Durham DL12 8BJ
  3. 3 University of Warwick, Department of Biological Science, Ecosystems Analysis and Management Group, Coventry CV4 7AL


This paper gives the first estimate of the prevalence and distribution of foot lesions in finishing pigs in the south-west of England for 33 years. It was based on the examination of 4038 finishing pigs from 21 units. There were 3727 out of 3974 (93.8 per cent) pigs with at least one foot lesion. The prevalence of different lesions was: toe erosion (33.0 per cent), sole erosion (62.1 per cent), heel erosion (13.0 per cent), heel flaps (14.4 per cent), white line lesions (55.4 per cent), false sand cracks (23.9 per cent) and wall separation (11.5 per cent). The hind feet were more commonly affected than the front feet, and on each foot the lateral digits were significantly more frequently affected than the medial digits. Sole erosions, heel flaps, wall separation and false sand cracks were more frequently observed on the lateral than the medial digit. Digits with sole erosions were significantly more likely to have heel flaps, white line lesions or false sand cracks than those without sole erosions. Furthermore, there was a within digit association between overgrown hooves and toe erosion. The effects of weightbearing, gait and environment on the development of foot lesions is discussed.

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