Spirochaetes seem to be a necessary cause for CODD, like in digital dermatitis in cattle; but we also find the footrot bacteria - dichelobacter nodosus and fusobacterium necrophorum in more than half of CODD lesions. Studies suggest there is an important link between the two.
We don’t know if/how much disease passes between species but bought in sheep are the main risk for introducing it to a flock.
Appearance – disease starts at the coronary band, forming an ulcerative or proliferative lesion, then leads to hoof separation, but it can look like foot rot, an abscess, scald, or toe granuloma.
Not all sheep with CODD are lame, but sheep which have “cured” may remain lame if the pedal bone has been damaged.
Risk Factors - Foot rot present on the farm, large flock size, lowland pasture, lush pasture or poached pasture
Treatment/control - Foot bathing is not particularly effective. Long acting amoxicillin cured three quarters of cases in a study and is the best first line treatment, but it is crucial that sheep are not underdosed, weigh or overestimate weight to be sure. Controlling foot rot is also important, using Footrot vaccine reduced CODD cases by about 1/3rd.
Bio security - Can pass on gloves/hands/foottrimmimg equipment.
Quarantine all in coming sheep and examine feet as they may not be lame, if you find CODD - ideally return the sheep, otherwise treat until no signs of infection, but be aware bacteria may still be present.
For more information have a look at this fact sheet - sheep lameness, or the AHDB booklet - Reducing Lameness for Better Returns. Alternatively, call the practice and speak to a member of the farm team - 01363 772860.