Risk factors for digital dermatitis in dairy cows kept in cubicle houses in The Netherlands

By Frankena, K. and Metz, J. H. M. and Noordhuizen Stassen, E. N. and Somers, Jgcj, Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 2005
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The presence of digital dermatifis (DD) in dairy cows has increased considerably over the last 10 years in The Netherlands, resulting in a current prevalence of similar to 30% in cows kept in cubicle houses. Our objective was to evaluate a diversified sample of cow- and herd-related risk factors for DD in dairy cows housed in cubicle houses with different flooring systems. Associations were analysed in random-effects logistic-regression models using 2134 cows (37 herds) and 2892 cows (47 herds) in the pasture and housing studies, respectively. At cow-level, the odds of having DD were increased in the case of lower parity and lactation. Important risk factors at herd-level were: restricted grazing time, fast rise in concentrate amount after calving, feeding by-products, herd trimming only at long intervals, and introduction of dry cows into the lactating herd before calving. The odds for DD were lower if cows were housed on a slatted floor with manure scraper and provided long and wide cubicles, and if calves were reared in the dairy cows' accommodation. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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