Digital dermatitis (DD) – Dermatitis digitalis – Morttellaro

This infectious leg disease in cattle, that over the last years have spread to many – in some areas to all loose housing systems ( it is also seen in organic herds ), has become a big problem for cattel farming. This not only has become a problem in Denmark, but all over the world. Therefore a lot of research has been made, to try to find the reason for this problem. Until now nobody has succeeded in showing if this problems comes from bacteria, virus or both ?One thing has been shown – the bacteria Treponema comes up again and again, but until now nobody has been able to make this disease artificial with this bacteria! That means, that until now internationally no explanation has come up, to clarify this problem. In Danish studies it has been shown, that there is a clear genetic difference in the susceptibility,Holstein-Frisian (HF) are most susceptible. HF are 3 times more susceptible than Red Danish Milkcows (RDM) and 10 times more susceptible than Jersey!
Internationally the problem has been known for many years (the Americans for more than 30-40 years). It has been tried to treat this disease in very many different ways, but unfortunately with only little effect. Clean floors and boxes gives cleaner limbs, witch give results, but not enough. Cleaning of the claws with water or footbaths with saltwater has been working in mild cases.
Copper sulfate in footbaths some effect, depending on the size of the problem. Unfortunately the only efficient treatment has been footbath with some types of Antibiotics.
This has lead to the international advise, to treat this disease with antibiotics in footbath!
This is not legal in Denmark, so we have a problem!
The advise in Denmark, ask for optimal claw environment, optimal feeding, leading to healthy claws and intensive claw trimming. In early treatments the wounds can bee treated with antiseptic dressing and a bandage.
On this background it is not so strange that it is tried to treat the problem with Alternative treatments.
When I last year heard a lecture by the German veterinarian and homeopath Christine Nowotzin, where she had some suggestions to try to handle this problem with homeopathy. I therefore took contact to her, to discuss this issue and on basis of this I decided to try her strategy.
I have now, in close cooperation with her, been going through the data and the findings in a farm with this problem in high degree.
Together with the farmer I have evaluated the development on the farm, on background of the reaction that the cows has been showing in the barn and the visible findings at the clawtrimming.
There are several conditions in the strategy of Christine Nowotzin, that deviate from the classical way of homeopathy. She is working a lot with, getting a clear picture of a possible reason for the disease, the development of the disease – in this also the tissue and organ changes. Therefore it is very central to get a clear picture of the feeding, environment and general health on the farm now.
It is central in this treating strategy, that the whole group of animal are treated –this is secured through the drinking water. The treatment was carried out, by treating 3 times with 12 hours in between with a 1-4 week interval. As described above, we did not succeed in controlling DD – until now!
We have been treating with several remedies: Pyrogenium, Silicea, Acidum carbolicum, Carbo vegetabilis and Luesinum. The background for the changes, is first and foremost that we are looking for the remedy with the best effect in the longest period. Additionally the findings on the farm have changed, and that is also taken in account.
At several of the treatments, we already have seen clear improvements in the herd after 2-3 days! In the end of April 06, there again was clear problems in the whole herd – many of the animals was lame and had visible findings! We therefore decided to treat on the 24-25 of April – with Luesinum. On May the 2 ( about 1 week later)the claws was trimmed ( about 100 cows) – it looked well – 12 Animals got a bandage – 8 because of Interdigital hyperplasiaand 4 because of DD. 10-15 cows had findings that lokked like inactive DD. When it last year was worst, 50-60 % of the cows had lamness and visible findings of DD.
Author: Veterinarian Jes R.Nissen, Denmark, in cooperation with Dr. Christine Nowotzin. Source: