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Bush Foot, Foot Rot

Bush foot results from infection of the claw which becomes swollen and painful around the coronary band. It arises through penetration of the sole of the foot, cracks at the sole-hoof junction, or splitting of the hoof itself. It usually occurs in one foot only and is more commonly seen in the hind feet especially the outer claws, which are the larger ones carrying proportionately more weight. Infection sometimes penetrates the soft tissues between the claws and this is referred to as foot rot. Foot rot involves both superficial and deep infection of the soft tissues between the claws often caused by fusiform bacteria. The claw becomes enlarged and inflamed. Invariably, unless foot rot has developed, only one claw is involved.

Symptoms

All Pigs
  • Lameness.
  • Painful swollen claw.
  • Cracks at the sole-hoof junction, or splitting of the hoof itself.
  • As the infection progresses inside the hoof, the claw becomes enlarged and infection and inflammation of the joint often develops.
  • In most cases a swelling is visible around the coronary band which may form an abscess and burst to the surface.

Causes / Contributing factors

  • It arises through penetration of the sole of the foot.
  • Cracks at the sole-hoof junction, or splitting of the hoof itself predispose.
  • Poor floor surfaces.
  • Poor concrete surfaces with sharp aggregate cause damage.
  • Biotin deficiency predisposes.

Diagnosis

This is based on the clinical signs. Bush foot has to be differentiated from other forms of trauma and infection including erysipelas, gl?ssers disease, leg weakness or osteochondrosis (OCD) and mycoplasma arthritis.

Further Reading

Click on the links below to find out more about this disease, including treatment, management control and prevention information. The top link is the main article on this disease.