Foot Rot in Dairy Cows

Foul Foot or Necrotic Pododermatitis

Foot rot is the sudden onset of lameness is usually accompanied by a fever and production loss. The skin between the claw and above the foot is swollen, painful and warm to the touch. The swelling is centred on the foot.


This condition is caused by two bacteria, Fusobacteria necrophorum and Bacteriodes melaninogenicus, which are found in most housing facilities. The bacteria enter the skin via small wounds between the claws and subsequently cause inflammation.


  • Maintain clean alleys to keep feet clean & dry. The use of alley scrapers is recommended.
  • Avoid small stones, uneven floors and overcrowding of facilities.
  • Ensure dry bedding and proper ventilation to achieve a fresh barn climate.
  • Be sure to have a footbath and/or spray program in place.
  • Good trimming practices are recommended.
    Click Here for “How to Trim in 5 Steps”.


  • Consult a veterinarian for treatment of severe cases. Because this infection occurs deep within the foot, a prescription drug might be needed.
  • Have all cows trimmed 2 to 3 times a year.
  • Whole herd spraying sessions and foot bathing are great tools to control the situation.
  • Contact us to discuss a spraying protocol and foot bath schedule that fits your herd’s requirements.
  • Visit our hoof disease page to get familiar with all hoof diseases in dairy herds.

Also check out our Intracare products for optimum hoof care!

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