An Observational Study Investigating Potential Risk Factors and Economic Impact for Bovine Ischaemic Teat Necrosis on Dairy Farms in Great Britain

Crosby-Durrani, Hayley E ORCID: 0000-0001-9297-0001, Blowey, Roger W, Manning, Al, Afonso, Joao Sucena, Carter, Stuart D ORCID: 0000-0002-3585-9400, Evans, Nicholas J ORCID: 0000-0002-2950-1007 and Angell, Joseph W
(2022) An Observational Study Investigating Potential Risk Factors and Economic Impact for Bovine Ischaemic Teat Necrosis on Dairy Farms in Great Britain. FRONTIERS IN VETERINARY SCIENCE, 9. 748259-.

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Bovine ischaemic teat necrosis (ITN) is an emerging disease of unknown aetiology that affects the teats of dairy cattle. It causes economic and animal welfare issues with many animals being culled. No effective treatments or epidemiological data to inform control strategies are currently available. The aim of this observational study was to investigate farmer-reported experiences and identify potential farm-level risk factors. In January 2018, a questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 1,855 Great Britain (GB) dairy farmers. A usable response rate of 12.3% was obtained. Fifty-one per cent [95% confidence interval (CI): 44.4-57.8%] of farmers reported having experienced ITN on their farm between 1985 and 2018. Rising numbers of farms indicated that ITN is an emerging disease with 46.3% of farmers reporting the first case in the 3 years up to 2018. At the animal level, 47.3% (95% CI: 38.7-55.9%) of the cases occurred during the first lactation and 78.9% (95% CI: 75.2-82.6%) within the first 90 days in milk. Only 20.8% (95% CI: 15.9-26.4%) of the cases were reported to recover, whereas 22.8% (95% CI: 17.8-28.5%) of the cases required culling. The remaining cases experienced complications such as loss of a teat and/or mastitis. From these data, the cost of ITN, through production losses and expenditure, was estimated to be £1,121 per farm per year. The costs were estimated at £720, £860 and £2,133 for recovered, complicated and culled cases, respectively. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to explore the associations between the presence of ITN on farm and various risk factors. The presence of udder cleft dermatitis (UCD) (odds ratio 2.80; 95% CI: 1.54-5.07; <i>p</i> < 0.01) and chapped teats (odds ratio 6.07; 95% CI: 1.96-18.76; <i>p</i> < 0.01) in the milking herd was associated with the presence of ITN at the farm level. This is the first national questionnaire of ITN within GB and highlights the association of UCD and chapped teats with ITN at the farm level. While there are many limitations and potential bias around farmer questionnaires, these findings highlight several key areas for further disease investigation and possible intervention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: bovine, ischaemic, necrosis, questionnaire, risk factors, dairy
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 08:57
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:14
DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2022.748259
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