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Risk of Lameness in Dairy Cows with Paratuberculosis Infection

Pathobiology and Population Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield AL9 7TA, Hertfordshire, UK
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Animals 2019, 9(6), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060339
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lameness in Livestock)
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Simple Summary

Johne’s disease (JD) is an important disease affecting cows in the UK dairy industry, as is lameness, and both cause milk production losses and cows losing weight. The aim of this work was to see if cows with JD were more likely to be lame and if so, what the order of occurrence of these two events is. We looked at the JD and lameness records of two farms and paired 98 JD cows (half of them with a high response to the test for JD) and compared them with herd mates. We evaluated the timing and the proportion of lameness in JD-positive cows compared to their controls and proportion of lameness before and after the first JD-positive test. JD cows turn lame on average three months earlier and are lame 2.7 times more often than non-JD cows. Further, high positive cows were 2.8 times more likely to develop lameness after JD diagnosis compared to medium positive cows. Results of this study suggest that there is a link between JD and lameness and that JD precedes lameness. The underlying mechanisms for this association remain unknown and were not the scope of this study.

Abstract

Johne’s disease (JD) is an important disease affecting the UK dairy industry, as is cattle lameness. An association between JD and lameness has been suggested; however, little evidence exists to support this. The purpose of this study was to determine if cows affected by JD were more likely to be lame and if so, what the temporal association is. Retrospective dairy cow mobility and JD status (based on milk ELISA) data were obtained from two farms of 98 JD cows (49 high and 49 medium positive) and their matched controls. We evaluated the timing and the proportion of (chronic) lameness in JD-positive cows versus controls and proportion of lameness before and after the first ELISA positive test. Compared to their controls, JD cows are lame more often (Odds Ratio = 2.7 (95% Confidence Interval = 1.2–6.0) p = 0.017) and became lame on average three months earlier (p = 0.010). High positive cows were more likely to develop lameness after seroconversion (OR = 2.8 (95% CI = 1.1–7.5), p = 0.038) versus medium positive cows. Results of this study suggest that there is a link between JD and lameness and that JD precedes lameness. The underlying mechanisms for this association remain unknown and were not the scope of this study. View Full-Text
Keywords: paratuberculosis; dairy cows; lameness paratuberculosis; dairy cows; lameness
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Smith, J.; van Winden, S. Risk of Lameness in Dairy Cows with Paratuberculosis Infection. Animals 2019, 9, 339.

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