Foot rot

Also known as Foul Foot or Necrotic Pododermatitis

Foot rot is the sudden onset of lameness and is generally 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 centered on the foot.


There are two bacterial species that are the main cause of foot root. These are Fusobacteria necrophorum and Bacteroides 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 and dry. We recommend the use of alley scrapers.
  • 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 foot bath and/or spray program in place.
  • We also recommend good and regular trimming practices.


  • Consult a veterinarian for treatment of severe cases. Because this infection occurs deep within the foot, it may be necessary to use a prescription drug.
  • Make sure you or a professional hoof trimmer trims all cows 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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