Risk factors for interdigital dermatitis and heel erosion 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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52 Citations (Scopus)


Risk factors concerning both the pasture and housing seasons for interdigital dermatitis and heel-horn erosion (IDHE) were studied in dairy cows in a cross-sectional study in The Netherlands. The study population included 2326 cows (41 herds) and 2751 cows (46 herds) for the pasture and housing seasons, respectively. Of these animals, 545 (23%) showed serious lesions of IDHE (stages 2 and 3) at the end of the pasture season and 1269 (46%) during housing. Logistic regression of the pasture study indicated that increased parity, solid concrete floor, restricted grazing time, and herd trimming at long intervals were associated with an increased odds of IDHE, while dry cows and lactating cows within 30 days after calving as well as cows on a slatted floor with manure scraper, and grassland with mixed type of soil were associated with lower odds. In the housing study, odds of IDHE increased with parity, administering low- or medium-energy roughage, and introduction of dry cows into the lactating herd at >2 weeks before calving. The presence of long cubicles, knee-bumpers installed in cubicles as well as rearing calves and heifers within the dairy cows¿ accommodation decreased the odds of IDHE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • papillomatous digital dermatitis
  • sole hemorrhages
  • floor systems
  • horn erosion
  • cattle
  • lameness
  • prevalence
  • concentrate
  • disorders
  • lesions


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