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Objective—To compare efficacy of a topically administered nonantimicrobial cream with that of lincomycin for treatment of digital dermatitis in dairy cattle.

Design—Randomized clinical trial.

Animals—98 cows from a commercial Holstein dairy herd.

Procedure—Cows with active lesions of digital dermatitis identified on a single observation day were randomly assigned to receive a nonantimicrobial cream, lincomycin paste, or no treatment. Cows were examined approximately every 4 weeks for 130 days after treatment for lesion maturity score, score for signs of pain, lesion size, and lesion activity.

Results—29 days after a single treatment, both treated groups had significantly reduced scores for signs of pain, lesion activity, lesion size, and the decision to retreat, compared with findings in the untreated group. Efficacy of the 2 treatments was not significantly different for decreasing pain score or lesion activity or for increasing lesion maturity score, but lincomycin was significantly more efficacious in decreasing lesion size and avoiding retreatment. By use of multivariate logistic regression, lactation number was a significant treatment effect modifier on the outcome of a healed lesion after treatment. Cows with ≥ 3 lactations were more likely to have a healed lesion at 29 days, compared with first- and secondlactation cows.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Because antimicrobial treatments for digital dermatitis in cows require a veterinarian's prescription, the nonantimicrobial cream could serve as a viable but less consistently effective alternative to antimicrobials and could be applied by veterinarians, hoof trimmers, and others. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1435–1438)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare the effectiveness of lincomycin and oxytetracycline for treatment of digital dermatitis (DD) in dairy cows through gross visual examination, histologic evaluation, and bacteriologic evaluation.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—25 cows with DD lesions from a commercial Holstein dairy herd.

Procedures—Cows with DD lesions were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: topical treatment with 10 g of lincomycin hydrochloride (n = 11), topical treatment with 10 g of oxytetracycline hydrochloride (11), and no treatment (3) on days 1 and 2 (d1). Biopsy specimens were obtained for histologic examination from DD lesions prior to treatment and 28 or 31 days (d30) after treatment for histologic examination. Cows were clinically examined on d1, days 12 or 14 (d14), and d30.

Results—No difference was evident in clinical responses to lincomycin and oxytetracycline, so data were pooled; at d30, 8 of 11 of lincomycin-treated lesions and 7 of 11 oxytetracycline-treated lesions appeared visually healed, respectively. Gross visual examination suggested 73% (16/22) of treated cows were healed at d14 and 68% (15/22) of treated cows were healed on d30. Of the 15 lesions that appeared healed on d30, 7 of 15 were classified histologically as active (ulceration and bacterial invasion; 2/15) or incipient (5/15).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinical responses to lincomycin and oxytetracycline did not differ. Agreement was good between gross visual and histologic assessments of DD lesions before treatment; agreement 1 month after treatment was variable. Histologic evaluation could not distinguish incomplete healing from lesion recurrence.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine whether a humoral response against spirochetes isolated from papillomatous digital dermatitis (PDD) lesions is elicited in dairy cattle affected with PDD.

Sample Population

41 cattle with PDD from 8 dairies (study population) and 30 cattle from 2 dairies free of PDD (control population). Additionally evaluated were 32 cattle from a dairy with a past history of PDD but no current disease, and 52 cattle from a dairy with high prevalence of PDD, 25 with and 27 without detectable lesions.


ELISA were used to evaluate the humoral response of all cattle to representative isolates from 2 groups of spirochetes of unknown species isolated from PDD lesions. Specificity of the response was evaluated, using immune sera prepared against each of the spirochetes, and by adsorption studies of immune and field sera. The potential for confounding by an antibody response to other spirochetes associated with diseases of cattle was assessed.


The antibody response (specific) to both PDD spirochete groups of cows with PDD was significantly increased, compared with that of cows from PDD-free dairies. There was no association between antibody response to PDD-associated spirochetes and antibody response to other spirochetal diseases of cattle. None of the cattle from the dairy with previous history of PDD but without current disease were classified as test positive by either PDD ELISA. There was a significant (P < 0.01) difference in classification results for both PDD ELISA for cattle with PDD from the dairy with a high herd prevalence of PDD, compared with cattle without detectable disease from the same dairy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

The humoral response in cattle with PDD lesions was significantly different from that in cattle without detectable lesions, thus providing additional information regarding the potential role of spirochetes isolated from PDD lesions in the etiopathogenesis of PDD. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:744–748)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


To determine whether treating cows with antimicrobials at the end of lactation would lower the incidence of clinical mastitis, improve milk production, and decrease somatic cell count (SCC) in the subsequent lactation.


Randomized blind field trial.


233 Holstein cows from a single herd. All cows were in lactation 2 or greater.


Cows were randomly assigned to treatment groups. Treated cows were given procaine penicillin G and novobiocin by intramammary infusion. Control cows were not treated. Farm personnel recorded cases of clinical mastitis. Milk yield and SCC were recorded during the subsequent lactation.


Treatment did not significantly reduce the incidence of clinical mastitis when data for all cows were grouped or when data were stratified by lactation groups (lactation 2 vs lactation ≥ 3) or by last SCC (≤ 500,000 cells/ml vs > 500,000 cells/ml). Somatic cell counts (first, mean of first 5, maximum of first 5) for treated and control cows were similar, and proportions of treated and control cows with SCC > 500,000 cells/ml at least once were not significantly different. Treated cows produced 179 kg (394 lb) more milk during the first 17 weeks of lactation than did control cows.

Clinical Implications—

Treating cows with antimicrobials at the end of lactation increased 17-week milk production during the subsequent lactation and, at current milk prices, was financially preferable to not treating them. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:207–211)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association