Infectious Lameness in Cattle and Sheep

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Veterinary Clinical Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 120

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
Interests: infections associated with cattle lameness; pathophysiology of perinatal losses in cattle

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last 30 years, digital dermatitis in cattle and severe virulent ovine footrot have been associated with poor standards of animal welfare in intensively farmed livestock systems: lame cattle and sheep are obvious to the general public living and working within a countryside comprising permanent pasture; they are identified in farm animal welfare audits, and antibiotic treatment of infectious causes of lameness in ruminants are time-consuming, costly, and mean that associated milk/meat withholding times must be observed. Infectious ruminant lameness is also associated with animals kept in squalid hygiene conditions underfoot, whether outside in muddy fields or housed inside where slurry accumulates, and there is a lack of dry bedding for animals to lie on: a significant poor management and husbandry issue. Within this context, the animal science related to both these common diseases is underwhelming: whilst epidemiological studies have shown how common both conditions are and identified some associated risk factors, microbiological science has failed to identify precisely the microorganisms involved. Without this knowledge, better husbandry systems and more focused therapeutic strategies cannot be devised, and effective preventive medicine is really ‘try it and see’—a lottery.

Generally, treatment and prevention of virulent infectious footrot in sheep has been more successful at a farm level than digital dermatitis in many diary herds. 

This Special Issue focuses on our current scientific knowledge concerning both bovine digital dermatitis and virulent ovine footrot which could provide the basis for moving forward our understanding of both diseases. It is only when the microbiological science relating to both these conditions has been secured that infectious lameness in ruminants will be controllable. As James Jeans said, ‘science should leave off making pronouncements: the river of knowledge has too often turned back on itself.’ Let us not make that mistake with these two diseases. 

Dr. Richard Murray
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • microbiology
  • micro-environment surrounding the ruminant digit during housing indoors and at pasture
  • costs of these diseases—direct and indirect
  • external and parenteral treatment of these infections
  • genetic susceptibility of cattle to digital dermatitis
  • pathology and pathophysiology of both diseases
  • B and T cell responses to ruminant digital skin infections
  • control and prevention—improved husbandry, footpaths, and vaccination

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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