Prevalence and temporal dynamics of white line disease in sheep: an exploratory investigation into disease distribution and associated risk factors

Best, C.M., Roden, J., Phillips, K., Pyatt, A.Z. and Behnke, M.C. (2021) Prevalence and temporal dynamics of white line disease in sheep: an exploratory investigation into disease distribution and associated risk factors. Veterinary Sciences, 8 (6).

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Abstract

Lameness in sheep is a global health, welfare and economic concern. White line disease (WLD), also known as shelly hoof, is a prevalent, non-infectious cause of lameness, characterised by the breakdown of the white line. Little is known about the predisposing factors, nor the individual disease dynamics over time. Our exploratory study aimed to investigate the prevalence and temporal dynamics of WLD, and the associated risk factors. Feet of 400 ewes from four UK commercial sheep farms were inspected for WLD at four time points across 12 months. The change in WLD state at foot-level (develop or recover) was calculated for three transition periods. We present WLD to be widespread, affecting 46.8% of foot-level and 76.6% of sheep-level observations. States in WLD changed over time, with feet readily developing and recovering from WLD within the study period. The presence of WLD at foot-level, the number of feet affected at sheep-level and dynamics in development and recovery were driven by a variety of foot-, sheep- and farm-level factors. We provide key insight into the multifaceted aetiology of WLD and corroborate previous studies demonstrating its multifactorial nature. Our study highlights an opportunity to reduce WLD prevalence and informs hypotheses for future prospective studies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: lameness, sheep, white line disease, shelly hoof, white line, prevalence, disease dynamics, risk factors
Divisions: Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences (from 1.08.20)
Depositing User: Mrs Rachael Harper
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2021 11:48
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 11:28
URI: https://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17713

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