Digital Dermatitis

Also known as "hairy heel warts," digital dermatitis produces painful lesions that can lead to lameness in dairy and beef cattle, and the impact of lameness on animal performance is costly and wide-reaching. Most notably, this includes decreased milk production and poor reproductive performance in dairy cattle, and decreased feed intake and lowered average daily gain in feedlot cattle. Among researchers and industry advocates, it is widely recognized as the most prevalent infectious claw lesion in the world.

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An understanding of how to identify the presence and severity of digital dermatitis is key to keeping the disease under control. Once the disease is introduced into a herd, it spreads rapidly and prevalence often exceeds 70%. There are five stages of digital dermatitis originally identified by Döpfer et al., 1997. From calves to heifers and lactating cows to dry cows, there is a need for an integrated prevention strategy that manages risk factors to help control digital dermatitis. This strategy should include: management, hygiene and nutrition.

Disease Progression

Learn more about the cycle of disease progression. Click the various stages below for more information.


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Understanding DD

Understanding the disease is key to preventing outbreaks. This document provides information to help bring digital dermatitis to a manageable state of control.

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White Paper

Download your free copy of “Digital Dermatitis: the dynamics of digital dermatitis in dairy cattle and the manageable state of disease” paper authored by Dörte Döpfer, D.V.M., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

Availa®Plus Helps Control Digital Dermatitis From the Inside Out

Availa®Plus, from Zinpro Corporation, provides U.S. dairy and beef producers with an entirely new approach to help control digital dermatitis from the inside out. Availa-Plus, when fed as part of a specific DD Formula and well-balanced diet, has been shown through research to significantly decrease the prevalence and severity of digital dermatitis in non-lactating cattle.

The product and nutritional strategy deliver a novel nutritional solution to provide dairy and beef cattle with protection against digital dermatitis by enhancing the animal’s ability to resist the development of painful lesions in contaminated environments.

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