Contagious foot rot is a common crippling infection of sheep and goats in some areas, caused by bacteria that live in the soil and easily carried onto a farm on the feet of infected animals or on shoe soles. Two types of bacteria are commonly associated with this condition, Dichelobacter nodosus and Fusobacterium necrophorum. Both thrive in moist soil conditions and are difficult to control or eliminate once the soil is contaminated and sheep and goats are kept on the property.
Footrot in sheep and goats is a different disease to the condition called footrot or interdigital necrobacillosis in cattle. Sheep and Goats: Footrot is a contagious bacterial infection of sheep and goats caused by Dichelobacter nodosus, often in association with other bacteria. Initial infection involves the skin between the claws and may extend to cause separation of the horny hoof from the underlying soft tissue (corium). Footrot may be classified as benign, intermediate or virulent depending on the mix of bacteria involved, their virulence and the amount and location of tissue damage. In benign footrot, dermatitis (scalding) is confined to the interdigital skin and cannot be distinguished clinically from interdigital dermatitis. In virulent footrot, if conditions are suitable, the infection extends to under-run and detach the hoof. In sheep, the term footrot is usually only used to describe virulent footrot.
The first line of defense against foot rot is a rigid biosecurity protocol that calls for isolation and foot soaking of new arrivals in a saturated, 15+% (weight/volume) zinc sulfate solution. Foot rot cases typically walk on to farms on 4 legs, so it is imperative to trim and soak (15+ minutes) all feet upon arrival to limit potential contamination of your farm’s soil with the causative bacteria, D. nodosus. This should be repeated again 2 weeks later. Any animals developing lame feet should be inspected closely and isolated. Those passing 2 rounds of soaking and remaining asymptomatic for 2 weeks following the second soaking can be added to the flock.
Another line of defense is to treat all new entries with a long acting antibiotic of the macrolide family. These are prescription drugs (Zactran® and Draxxin® are in this family), so it is required to work with a DVM to obtain and receive guidance in the use of these drugs. Boots should also be washed thoroughly between farms, although the risk of transferring the causative organism with dirty boots is far less than that transferred from the infected feet of live sheep, to the soil, and then to another sheep.
Features of Foot Rot Vaccine For Goats
There are several different methods used to treat goats for foot rot. Typically, you need to use several methods to control foot rot.
The foot on this animal has been properly trimmed to expose all infected areas in the foot. This will allow the foot bath solution to reach any infected areas. Treating goats at the first sign of any lameness and routinely running goats through a foot bath is important for controlling foot rot once it has been identified on your farm. Foot trimming is the first step in treating foot rot. Trimming the foot will cut away any cracked areas in the hoof and help to prevent the foot rot organism from becoming established. Goats who have foot rot should be trimmed to remove all infected areas. It is extremely important to open up these areas so that the foot bath solution and air can reach the damaged areas.
Unfortunately, this may also cause some bleeding. Do not become alarmed at the sight of the blood. A small amount will help to cleanse the foot. For routine trimming, trim goats with healthy feet first so that you do not spread the disease to them. Then, as you work on the goats with infected feet, use a Clorox solution to disinfect the foot trimmers between each goat.
Prices of Foot Rot Vaccine For Goats
$30.29 – $36.99