[Risk factors for infectious foot disorders on two Swiss cattle mountain pastures].

Schaub, M.; Alsaaod, M.; Syring, C.; Becker, J.; Plüss, J.; Blatter, S.; Rachidi, F.; Starke, A.; Steiner, A. (2023). [Risk factors for infectious foot disorders on two Swiss cattle mountain pastures]. Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde, 165(6), pp. 385-399. Gesellschaft Schweizer Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte 10.17236/sat00397

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In the present study, risk groups for infectious foot disorders were identified on two large Swiss cattle mountain pastures by analyzing animal and treatment data of a total of 3256 animals of the bovine species. Both mountain pastures were part of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) consultancy project «Healthy animals, attractive herdsmen positions and less medication on large cattle mountain pastures». The project was launched in 2020 following the increased incidence of lameness on these mountain pastures. Bacteriological and histological analyses were to provide information as to whether the most common foot disorder was interdigital phlegmon (IP) or whether digital dermatitis also occurred. Further, the temporal distribution of cases over the mountain pasture season and the influence of mountain pasture and year were investigated and interpreted for the project years 2020 to 2022, and treatment incidences were compared between years. Multiple treatment cycles in the same individual were classified into persistent infections and new infections. Nineteen of 394 first-treated cattle were clinically examined, 12 of them were additionally sampled for bacteriological and histological analyses. All cases examined showed, both clinically and following laboratory analyses, typical characteristics for IP. In contrast, there was no specific evidence for the presence of digital dermatitis. No persistent infections occurred during treatment with benzylpenicillin. Multivariate logistic regression analyses identified > 365-730-day-old cattle (odds ratio OR 8,29), as well as inseminated (OR 5,30) and non-inseminated (OR 7,85) heifers as risk groups for the disease studied (p < 0,05). Association with the oestrus activity of non-inseminated heifers and a generally higher locomotor activity in heifers compared to cows - with a correspondingly increased risk of injury - is conceivable. Meat breeds had a reduced risk compared to dairy breeds (OR 0,29). Breed differences in behavior and/or the effectiveness of the local immune response might have an impact. Knowing about these risk groups can be put to use in the future when selecting animals to be taken to the mountain pastures and/or when planning pasture management in order to reduce the prevalence of infectious foot disorders and thereby the use of antibiotics.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Schaub, Melanie, Alsaaod, Maher, Syring, Claudia, Becker, Johanna, Plüss, Jeanette, Blatter, Sohvi Tuulikki, Steiner, Adrian


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Gesellschaft Schweizer Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte




Nathalie Viviane Zollinger

Date Deposited:

23 Jun 2023 16:07

Last Modified:

23 Jun 2023 16:07

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Alpung Alter Lahmheit Phlegmona ­interdigitalis Rasse Rindvieh age alpeggi boiterie bovini bovins breed cattle estivage età flemmone interdigitale interdigital phlegmon mountain pastures phlegmon­ interdigité race razza zoppia ­lameness âge





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