Deep digital sepsis in cattle

Clinical differentiation


  • Robert N. Streeter Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078



bovine, cattle, deep digital sepsis, foot


Deep digital sepsis (DDS) as applied to bovine lameness is not strictly defined, but for the purposes of this discussion will include infection of bones, joints, bursa or tendon sheaths within the foot. Often, there are infections of several of these structures in the same digit. Such infections are most commonly due to extension of infection from more superficial layers as in the case of advanced sole ulceration, white line disease or toe tip necrosis, but can be secondary to direct penetration or trauma. Deep digital sepsis should be suspected when lameness is severe coupled with 1 or more of the following: asymmetrical swelling of the foot, swelling extending proximal to the pastern region, and a duration of severe lameness of >2 weeks. Lameness associated with deep digital sepsis (DDS) is severe and requires aggressive and somewhat expensive therapy to resolve. Recognition of the development of DDS is critical to appropriate management of a lameness case. Description of therapeutic options will be provided in another paper in this volume (see Therapy of Deep Digital Sepsis).






Clinical Skills Session