CODD is a relatively new disease with the first case reported in the UK in 1997
CODD is thought to be caused by bacteria and is very contagious. It spreads very quickly through direct contact between sheep, sharing pasture and shared management tools (e.g. trimming shears).
In the first year of a CODD outbreak, called the “epidemic” stage, as many as 50% of your flock can be affected, including lambs. After this first wave, the levels go down as part of the flock will now be immune.
The biggest risk factor for bringing in CODD to your flock is buying in new sheep. Before purchasing any sheep, find out their disease history and check their feet. If there is any sign of lameness or small, round lesions where the hoof meets the hairline (coronary band), do not purchase these sheep. The diagram below shows where the coronary band is on a sheep’s foot.
Once you have purchased healthy sheep, keep them quarantined from the rest of the flock for 4 weeks. This ensures that if any disease appears, you can treat this isolated group instead of treating your entire flock.
Advanced stages of CODD are very painful. We therefore suggest you consider providing pain relief to your affected sheep. Your vet can give you advice on using pain relief.
Research has shown that on farms where footrot is well managed (i.e: the recommendations about footrot management are followed), CODD is also under control, well managed and at very low or non-existent levels.
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