Olde Riekerink R.G.M.,GD Animal Health Services |
Olde Riekerink R.G.M.,Bayer New Zealand Ltd. |
van Amersfort K.,GD Animal Health Services |
van Amersfort K.,University Utrecht |
And 5 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2014
Udder cleft dermatitis (UCD) is a well-known disorder in dairy cows. Veterinary literature about this subject, however, is scarce. The objectives of this study were to define a clinical scoring system for UCD, estimate the within-herd prevalence of UCD, and identify potential risk factors of UCD at cow and herd level. On 20 randomly selected dairy farms in the Netherlands, each lactating cow was photographed from a ventral, lateral, and caudal position. A scoring system with 6 categories of severity of UCD was proposed based on the ventral photographs. Cow measures such as udder width and depth, and front quarter attachment were determined from the lateral and caudal photographs. A questionnaire was conducted on each farm during farm visits. Udder cleft dermatitis, defined as a score 3 or higher, was detected in 5.2% of the 948 cows involved in this study. Within-herd prevalences of UCD ranged between 0 and 15% and UCD was found in 16 (80%) of the participating farms. Cows with a deep udder (relative to the hock), large front quarters, and a small angle between udder and abdominal wall were more likely to develop UCD. Production level and use of a footbath were identified as being positively associated with herd-level UCD prevalence. Herd size and average bulk milk somatic cell count did not seem to be associated with UCD prevalence. Because of the small herd sample size, no firm conclusions were drawn on herd-level risk factors. However, results from this study can be used in designing a future longitudinal UCD study. The prevalences of UCD found in the present study illustrate the current UCD situation in the Netherlands. Our results demonstrate that multiple potential risk factors of UCD could be identified at both the cow and herd level. © 2014 American Dairy Science Association.