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Prevalence of foot lesions in Danish Holstein cows
  1. N. Capion, DVM1,
  2. S. M. Thamsborg, DVM, PhD2 and
  3. C. Enevoldsen, DVM, PhD1
  1. 1 Department of Large Animal Sciences
  2. 2 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Bülowsvej 17, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark


In a cross-sectional study of 6240 Danish Holstein cows in 55 herds using loose-housing systems, sole haemorrhages and heel horn erosions occurred frequently in almost all the herds. Digital dermatitis occurred in 47 of the 55 herds (85 per cent). Spearman correlation coefficients revealed relationships between lameness and sole ulcer (0·36), between heel horn erosion and sole haemorrhage (0·39), between heel horn erosion and interdigital dermatitis (0·29) and between sole ulcer and double sole (0·26). The prevalence of heel horn erosion, sole haemorrhage, interdigital dermatitis and digital dermatitis appeared to be most affected by herd-level factors. The associations between individual foot trimmers and all the foot lesions were statistically significant. The risk of interdigital dermatitis increased with decreasing amounts of bedding. Cows housed throughout the year had a marginally higher risk of sole haemorrhage.

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