Assessment of foot health and animal welfare: clinical findings in 229 dairy Mediterranean Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) affected by foot disorders.

Guccione, Jacopo; Carcasole, Christian; Alsaaod, Maher; D'Andrea, Luigi; Di Loria, Antonio; De Rosa, Angela; Ciaramella, Paolo; Steiner, Adrian (2016). Assessment of foot health and animal welfare: clinical findings in 229 dairy Mediterranean Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) affected by foot disorders. BMC veterinary research, 12(1), p. 107. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12917-016-0726-4

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BACKGROUND Lameness represents the third most important health-related cause of economic loss in the dairy industry after fertility and mastitis. Although, dairy Mediterranean Buffaloes (MB) and dairy cows share similar breeding systems predisposing to similar herd problems, published studies exploring its relevance and role in these ruminants are still rare and incomplete. The aims of this study were to describe the clinical findings of foot disorders (FDs) in dairy MB and their influence on animal welfare, determined by assessment of locomotion score (LS), body condition score (BCS) and cleanliness score (CS). RESULTS Of 1297 multiparous MB submitted to routine trimming procedures, 229 buffaloes showed at least one FD. The prevalence of buffaloes affected by FDs was 17.7 %, while motility and lameness indexes were 84.1 % (1091/1297) and 15.9 % (206/1297), respectively. Overgrowth was present in 17.0 % (220/1297), corkscrew claw in 15.8 % (205/1297), interdigital phlegmon in 0.9 % (12/1297), white line abscess in 0.8 % (11/1297), digital dermatitis in 0.1 % (1/1297) and interdigital hyperplasia in 0.1 % (1/1297). Simultaneous presence of FDs was recorded in 17.0 % of MB (221/1297): overgrowth and corkscrew claw occurred together in 15.8 % of cases (205/1297), overgrowth and interdigital phlegmon in 0.3 % (4/1297), overgrowth and white line abscess in 0.8 % (11/1297), digital dermatitis and interdigital hyperplasia in 0.1 % (1/1297). The presence of FDs was always associated with lameness (LS > 2), except from 23 MB with simultaneous overgrowth and interdigital phlegmon occurrence. The majority of MB within the under-conditioned group (95.5 %, 43/45) and all those with CS > 2 (122/122) had a locomotion score above the threshold of normality (LS > 2). Furthermore, foot diseases such as interdigital hyperplasia, white line abscess and digital dermatitis or interdigital hyperplasia seemed to occur more frequently associated with decreased BCS and increased CS scores. CONCLUSIONS This study describes for the first time the involvement of white line disease, interdigital phlegmona, digital dermatitis and interdigital hyperplasia in foot disorders of dairy Mediterranean buffalo and shows their association with an impairment of animal welfare.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants

UniBE Contributor:

Guccione, Jacopo; Alsaaod, Maher and Steiner, Adrian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1746-6148

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Daniela Fasel

Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2016 14:39

Last Modified:

09 Nov 2018 08:21

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s12917-016-0726-4

PubMed ID:

27297174

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Claw; Corkscrew claw; Digital dermatitis; Foot disorders; Interdigital hyperplasia; Interdigital phlegmona; Lameness; Mediterranean Buffalo; Welfare; White line disease

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.84172

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/84172

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