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Does Your Goat Have Foot Scald or Foot Rot?

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Learn the difference between foot scald and foot rot and how to treat both

farmer holding a small goat in arms
Keeping an eye on your goat's feet is important for proper goat care.

It is not uncommon for goats to have some type of hoof condition.

Both foot scald and foot rot can have serious conditions such as lameness, slowing of weight gain, and a decrease in milk production.

What is foot scald?

A bacteria known as Fusobacterium necrophorum causes foot scald in goats and sheep. This bacteria is found not only in grazed pastures but also in the feces of ruminants. When mud and manure accumulate in cold, wet weather, the frequency of foot scald increases when the bacteria attacks irritated soft tissue between the toes.

Foot scald signs begin with limping or raising of a limb off the ground. Sometimes animals will feed on their fore knees. To check for this, look at the skin between the toes. The skin will be pinkish white, moist, and sensitive to the touch. If you see this, begin treatment immediately. An ideal solution is Dr. Naylor's Hoof n' Heel.

What is foot rot?

Foot rot is caused by different microorganisms, Dichelobaster nodosus and Fusobacterium necrophorum. These microorganisms go into action when the soft tissue of the hooves is irritated.

Foot rot develops when hoof scald goes untreated and there is additional infection of the tissue between the toes. Foot rot can vary from mild to severe. Foot rot typically is evident when you see erosion of the tissue between the sole of the toe and the hard outer hoof.

There is also a unique foul odor associated with severe cases of the condition. Animals with severe hoof rot can have a fever, loss of appetite, and hoof deformity. This condition can also be treated with a soak in Dr. Naylor's Hoof N' Heel. Always proceed with the advice of your veterinarian.

You can find our products in major pet stores and veterinary clinics, as well as many farm and ranch supply stores. We also offer our products through online retailers, such as Chewy, Walmart and Jeffers.

We’re proud of the quality and reliability of our animal health products and strive to make them widely available. Thank you for trusting us to protect and care for your beloved animals.

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