Risk factors for digital dermatitis in dairy cows kept in cubicle houses in The Netherlands

J.G.C.J. Somers, K. Frankena, E.N. Noordhuizen-Stassen, J.H.M. Metz

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91 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of digital dermatitis (DD) in dairy cows has increased considerably over the last 10 years in The Netherlands, resulting in a current prevalence of 30% in cows kept in cubicle houses. Our objective was to evaluate a diversified sample of cow- and herd-related risk factors for DD in dairy cows housed in cubicle houses with different flooring systems. Associations were analysed in random-effects logistic-regression models using 2134 cows (37 herds) and 2892 cows (47 herds) in the pasture and housing studies, respectively. At cow-level, the odds of having DD were increased in the case of lower parity and lactation. Important risk factors at herd-level were: restricted grazing time, fast rise in concentrate amount after calving, feeding by-products, herd trimming only at long intervals, and introduction of dry cows into the lactating herd before calving. The odds for DD were lower if cows were housed on a slatted floor with manure scraper and provided long and wide cubicles, and if calves were reared in the dairy cows¿ accommodation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • floor systems
  • cattle
  • prevalence
  • farm
  • herd

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