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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.

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


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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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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.

The new DD Check App for iPad and iPhone helps users identify, record, predict and manage the prevalence of digital dermatitis in its various stages. Learn More >

DD Check

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DD Check App now!

Availa®Plus Helps Promote Health from the Inside Out

Availa®Plus, from Zinpro Performance Minerals®, represents a new trace mineral product and an entirely new approach to foot health management. It has been developed specifically for use in dairy and beef cattle and is designed to promote health from the inside out.

When fed in conjunction with a specific DD formula, research has shown that the trace minerals found in Availa-Plus can help provide protection against deficiency. This carefully formulated trace mineral program works internally to enhance the animal's health.

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