Contagious ovine digital dermatitis: an emerging disease

Vet J. 2014 Sep;201(3):265-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2014.06.007. Epub 2014 Jun 10.


The novel sheep disease, contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD) was first described in the UK in 1997. The disease is characterised by severe lameness associated with initial inflammation at the coronary band, followed by progressive separation of the hoof capsule from the underlying tissue. On microbiological examination, treponeme bacteria have been frequently isolated from cases of CODD, including treponemes phylogenetically identical to those associated with bovine digital dermatitis (BDD). Dichelobacter nodosus and Fusobacterium necrophorum have also been isolated from CODD lesions although their role in the pathogenesis remains uncertain. While epidemiological data indicate that the prevalence of CODD is increasing in the UK, the routes of transmission and associated risk factors have not been clearly elucidated. Evidenced-based treatment trials indicate that parenteral administration of long-acting amoxicillin is an efficacious treatment for CODD, while anecdotal evidence suggests other antibiotics, given locally and/or parenterally, may also be beneficial. Further microbiological and epidemiological research is urgently required to develop sustainable control strategies, including the development of vaccines and appropriate biosecurity and farm management protocols. In this review current knowledge of the clinical, aetiological, and epidemiological aspects of CODD is assessed as well as approaches to its control.

Keywords: Contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD); Footrot; Lameness; Sheep; Welfare.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Digital Dermatitis* / diagnosis
  • Digital Dermatitis* / epidemiology
  • Digital Dermatitis* / etiology
  • Digital Dermatitis* / prevention & control
  • Foot Rot* / diagnosis
  • Foot Rot* / epidemiology
  • Foot Rot* / etiology
  • Foot Rot* / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Sheep Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Sheep Diseases* / etiology
  • Sheep Diseases* / prevention & control